Toyota goes “pedal to the metal” on electric vehicle plans

Toyota Motor Corporation announced last month that it intends to speed its development and introduction of additional electric vehicles (hybrids, battery electric models and fuel-cell electric), with a goal of having every Toyota and Lexus model include an “electrified” option by 2025.  The company hopes that electrified vehicles to account for more than 50 per cent of its new-vehicle sales, or 5.5 million vehicles including more than one million California-clean car compliant zero-emission vehicles.

Specifically, Toyota’s hybrid vehicle line-up will grow the company plans to introduce a more powerful version in some hybrid models and also to develop simpler hybrid systems for select models, and to expand its plug-in hybrid vehicle selection.

  • “We are working on an entire portfolio of hybrids which we have been selling since 1997, plug-in hybrids, full battery electric vehicles as well as our fuel cell vehicles,” Bob Carter, executive vice president of sales for Toyota Motor North America. said in an interview with CNBCs Squawk Box.  “Those vehicles represent about 9 percent of our sales in 2018. We have set a goal that it will be 15 percent of our sales next year in 2020,” he said.

EcoWatch reported yesterday that Toyota first “rolled out” its electric vehicle push a year ago, but has now stepped up its goals by focusing first on more on hybrid gas-electric vehicles rather than trying to compete with Tesla in the fully electric vehicle market. 

  • EcoWatch cited Fred Lambert, the editor in chief of the electric vehicle blog Electrek, who argued that it is “dumb” for Toyota to not focus on a mass-market EV.  Lambert wrote in his blog, “If the EV market is small right now, it’s not because people don’t want to buy EVs, it’s because the industry is not manufacturing enough attractive all-electric vehicles at a decent price.”

Why This Matters:  As we pointed out in another ODP story today, vehicle emissions are rising in the U.S. again — which is very bad news.  This announcement by Toyota shows that even though the Trump Administration is rolling back the clean car standards, the auto industry is going to move in the right direction.  Increasingly, U.S. consumers want to wean themselves off conventional gasoline cars and the market will reflect that.  What is needed is a full suite of electric options — more electric vehicles of all types, sizes, configurations and prices — and more companies like Toyota, Tesla and Volvo that are moving rapidly in that direction.  The future is most definitely electric.

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