It seems like most carmakers are aboard the electric vehicle (EV) bandwagon these days…
But not according to Toyota President, Akio Toyoda. The executive said he’s among the auto industry’s silent majority in questioning whether EVs should be pursued exclusively, per The Wall Street Journal, as uncertainty about the realistic speed of the EV transition gowns.
- Carmakers like GM and Honda have set dates for when their lineups will be fully electric, but Toyota is investing in a more diverse lineup by continuing to fund hybrids.
- Toyota is also one of few developing zero-emission cars powered by hydrogen, which is only as clean as its supply chain, but seen as a high-potential power source.
Why it matters: While consumer demand for EVs is high, supply challenges (like securing parts and raw materials for batteries) have caused prices to skyrocket. If the cost of an EV becomes out of reach for most buyers, it throws a wrench into EV carmakers’ big plans.
- The world’s biggest carmaker sees hybrids, a technology it invented with the Toyota Prius in the 1990s, as an important (and more affordable) option for consumers.
Zoom out: EV makers have a big set of challenges to address, including worries that consumer demand will drop once supply catches up, government subsidies and the building of charging networks might lag behind, or that cars won’t fulfill their green promises.