A lot of countries don’t have the infrastructure to support EVs, but that doesn’t justify Toyota’s lethargy

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A complete transition to EVs is inevitable whether we like it or not. When enthusiasts complain about moving to electric vehicles, it’s one thing; but when an automaker says the same, it isn’t exactly the right thing.

Toyota’s CEO, Akio Toyoda, recently said that electric vehicles are overhyped and could cost hundreds of billions of dollars to make the switch. This, coming from the CEO of a company that hasn’t been at the forefront of electrification sounds like a case of sour grapes, doesn’t it?

Toyota Chief Akio Toyoda Thinks Mass Transition to EVs Could Be a Very Bad Thing
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While Mr. Toyoda’s point make sense to an extent, it cannot be taken in the positive spirit because Toyota is clearly slow in the race to make the transition and needs to hurry up. The Japanese automaker was one of the earliest adopters of hybrid technology, but surprisingly, couldn’t replicate the same when moving to electrification.

Wall Street Journal covered the recent Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association year-end press conference and noted that the CEO criticized this move. Mr. Toyoda said that the advocates have failed to take into consideration the carbon emitted by generating electricity and how much it would cost to make the transition to EVs. He said that the transition could cost Japan $135- to $358 billion, and if all the cars there were EVs, the country would run out of electricity in the summer.

Toyota Chief Akio Toyoda Thinks Mass Transition to EVs Could Be a Very Bad Thing
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Japan gets most of its electricity by burning coal and natural gas. The CEO made sure to point this out, too, and suggested that EVs basically kill the purpose. He said, "the more EVs we build, the worse carbon dioxide gets." The reason behind this rant could probably be the rumored ban that Japan has will stop the sale of fuel-powered vehicles from 2035. It’s not clear if the country will allow hybrid vehicles to ply on the roads, or if all of them need to be pure electric cars. However, this hasn’t been confirmed by the country yet.

Toyota Chief Akio Toyoda Thinks Mass Transition to EVs Could Be a Very Bad Thing
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Toyota needs to be credited for paving and leading the way when it comes to hybrid cars, but it has lacked in the case of electrification. Even today, the company doesn’t have a single pure electric mass-produced vehicle either in Japan or in the States. It does have the Mirai that runs on hydrogen fuel cell technology. Perhaps, the automaker didn’t anticipate the transition to happen this soon.

What are your thoughts on Mr. Akio Toyoda’s comments on EVs? Share them with us in the comments section below.

Source: WSJ

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read full bio
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