To outside observers, it looks like Toyota is late for the EV party, but its delay is not a misstep. The Japanese automaker announced this year that it will launch two battery-electric vehicles, in stark contrast to other automakers who have presented ambitious plans to electrify their entire ranges. This kind of change won’t happen anytime soon at Toyota, as the company isn’t ready to focus solely on electric cars.
Toyota’s reluctance to focus solely on electric vehicles isn’t just about the uncertainty of the emerging market, as there are environmental concerns as well. According to Automotive News, who was aware of the annual meeting of shareholders where Toyota discussed its reluctance to embark on electric vehicles, Toyota examines the “full life cycle” of a vehicle in terms of reducing carbon emissions , because some studies indicate the production of electric vehicles and their batteries release more emissions than those of the exhaust pipes.
However, the consumer is a more important factor in determining what Toyota does. Toyota CTO Masahiko Maeda said, “At the end of the day, what matters is what customers choose. In the United States, electric vehicles represent less than two percent of the total auto market. It’s a small slice of the pie that automakers have to fight for. Toyota’s lineup will contain a variety of powertrain options for the next 30 years, offering gasoline, hybrid, fuel cell and electric vehicles as propulsion options vie for superiority to keep the best standing.
Toyota’s aversion to electric vehicles doesn’t mean it doesn’t invest in technology. The company’s first electric vehicle, the oddly named bZ4x, will make its production debut later this year before being released in 2022. The bZ4x will be the first in a family of seven electric vehicles that the company plans to offer to consumers. United States by 2025., with 15 electric vehicles available globally by the same year. Toyota isn’t putting all its eggs in the electrification basket, but it isn’t shy about making a concerted effort either.