“Electric Vehicles Are Just Going to Take Longer than the Media Would Like Us to Believe,” Says Toyota CEO

Does Automologist MAC agree with Akido? 

Toyota may have just zapped the push for us all to be driving EV cars as the world’s biggest car manufacturer plans to keep fossil-fuelled cars as a part of their line-up for some time to come and is firmly rejecting the call of the hemp-trouser-wearing brigade to take their line-up fully electric. Apparently, Toyota has concerns over how fast consumers will embrace new technologies, amongst others.

They are not rejecting the technology outright and will be introducing more EVs in the coming years, but will continue to develop petrol-powered vehicles along with hybrids and hydrogen-powered models. This is all according to Akido Toyoda, the CEO of Toyota, who is also an ex-racer and just happens to be the grandson of Kiichiro Toyoda who founded Toyota, so perhaps he knows a thing or two—after all, Toyota does sell more cars per year than any other manufacturer.

The cacophony of disagreement from the environmental lobby was almost overwhelming, with organisations like the Sierra Club’s spokesperson for green technology claiming that hybrids are not environmentally friendly as they still utilise gas engines. Undeterred, Akido stands his ground saying “realistically it will be very hard to achieve selling only EVs by 2035, it is like the fully autonomous cars that we are all supposed to be driving by now”. Akido maintains that there will be a strong need for EVs in a number of different environments for the foreseeable future and by selling only EVs, the company would leave a lot of customers behind.

Critics point to the low level of investment that Toyota has in electrification—about USD28 billion which is about half of what Ford is investing—but forget to point out that Toyota has been doing this for the past twenty years. After having been at the forefront of electric car development for so long, Akido is still not convinced. He quite rightly points out little inconvenient truths like the impact on the electrical grid, inability of city dwellers to be able to home-charge, lack of public chargers, recharging time, range anxiety and scarcity of raw materials.

We are told that we all need to sacrifice and change the way we get about to avoid global warming but the ‘experts’ fail to consider that EVs may not be the panacea that slows global warming. In a way, the ownership of an EV has become veganism on wheels— owners of EVs love to tell you that they own one and to be a valid member of society, we should all convert to the new ‘religion’.

Me, I am with Akido, who maintains that “Toyota is a department store of all sorts of power-train, it is not right for the store to tell you this is the product you will buy”.

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