Business Insider Edition
Car companies from General Motors to Volkswagen are making big promises about eliminating combustion engines and electrifying their lineups.
But Toyota, the world’s biggest carmaker, isn’t quite sold on electric vehicles. And it thinks it’s not alone.
Speaking to reporters recently, Toyota president Akio Toyoda said that most of the auto industry doesn’t think EVs are the only way forward, even as policies banning gasoline car sales and propping up EVs make an all-electric future seem inevitable.
“That silent majority is wondering whether EVs are really OK to have as a single option. But they think it’s the trend so they can’t speak out loudly,” Toyoda said, according to The Wall Street Journal.
A pioneer and leader in hybrid cars, Toyota has resisted going all-in on electrification like some of its biggest rivals. It has argued that the best way to reduce emissions is to offer customers a variety of options, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, hydrogen-powered models, and EVs. Not everyone is ready for an electric car, the automaker has said, due to high prices and underdeveloped charging infrastructure.
“Because the right answer is still unclear, we shouldn’t limit ourselves to just one option,” Toyoda said, per the WSJ.
The strategy has drawn the ire of progressive and environmentalist groups, who argue that any technology short of an all-electric vehicle contributes needlessly to global warming.
Still, Toyota is changing with the times. Last December, it announced plans to invest 4 trillion yen (roughly $29 billion) to roll out 30 battery-powered models by 2030. It aims to sell at least 3.5 million EVs annually by that year, representing around a third of its global sales.
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