Toyota CEO warns against hyping EVs as an option in his powertrain ‘department store’

Toyota Car companies plan to make gasoline-powered vehicles a key part of their lineups, rejecting rival efforts to go all-electric amid concerns about how quickly consumers will embrace the new technology.

While the world’s largest automaker will roll out more electric vehicles in the coming years, it will also offer a range of other options, including gasoline-electric hybrids, according to Chief Executive Akio Toyoda. , hydrogen-powered and traditional fossil fuel-powered vehicles. Meeting with reporters on Thursday.

Akio Toyoda, the grandson of the automaker’s founder, told dealers gathered in Las Vegas that battery electric vehicles “will only last longer than the media would like us to believe.” He promises the “widest possible range” of powertrains to push the car cleanly.

“This is our strategy and we will stick to it,” he said.

Toyota’s stance reflects the many, sometimes conflicting, considerations of automakers as they seek to boost sales, serve a diverse customer base and meet increasingly stringent environmental standards in many countries.The decision contrasts sharply with those of competitors such as General Motors The company has pledged to go all-electric by 2035.

Environmentalists and shareholders have criticized Toyota for its delay in embracing electric vehicles, and Greenpeace has placed the brand at the bottom of its rankings of global automakers’ decarbonization efforts. Critics accuse Toyota of sticking to its 25-year history of the gasoline-electric Prius hybrid that has won Toyota plaudits.

“The truth is: today’s hybrids are not green technology,” Catherine Garcia, director of the Sierra Club’s Clean Transportation for All campaign, wrote in a blog post last month. “The Prius Hybrid runs on the polluting internal combustion engine you’ll find in any gas-powered car.”

Toyota’s Electric Vehicle Promise

The company last year pledged to spend 4 trillion yen ($28 billion) on 30 electric vehicles launched by 2030.Still, that’s less than $50 billion ford motor co. is spending until 2026 to build electric cars.

Despite the stark differences, Toyoda said his company has been investing in battery-powered hybrids for more than two decades. This, he believes, makes Toyota a “front runner” in reducing carbon emissions from vehicles around the world.

“Our investments may seem smaller than others, but when you look at what Toyota has done over the past 20 years, the total amount may not necessarily be small,” Toyoda said.

The CEO said a lack of adequate infrastructure would hinder EV adoption as a factor in his decision not to go all out.

“Toyota is a department store with all kinds of powertrains,” he said. “It’s not right for a department store to say ‘this is the product you should buy’.”

Akio Toyoda expressed doubts about whether automakers can meet a California directive that effectively bans gasoline-fueled vehicles by 2035 and requires that a large portion of sales be electric by 2030.New York thursday says It will make similar regulations.

“We have to look at the current price range and the availability of infrastructure, and how quickly they’re going to be upgraded,” he said. “Actually, it seems very difficult to achieve.”

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