Toyota predicts gasoline will power most of its U.S. vehicles well through 2030, despite the automaker’s commitments to develop hybrid and electric vehicles.
If you take a snapshot of 2030, the price of battery EVs and the provision of infrastructure around the globe probably won’t have advanced all that much.
Company execs base the assessment on the belief that electric vehicles will not catch up to gasoline-powered vehicles in terms of cost and convenience by 2030, the Wall Street Journal reports. This reflects a different stance than the company’s primary competitors. Honda, Volvo, and General Motors recently set goals for all-electric fleets within the next decade.
“If you take a snapshot of 2030, the price of battery EVs and the provision of infrastructure around the globe probably won’t have advanced all that much,” said Toyota Exec Jun Nagata in a news conference. “Hybrids and plug-in hybrids will be easier for customers to buy.”
Toyota leaders assert customers do not want pure electric vehicles and that EVs are not necessarily better for the environment. They cite concerns that carbon emissions associated with generating electricity and producing battery materials, such as cobalt and lithium, are higher.
“The goal is not electric vehicles, the goal is carbon neutrality,” said James Kuffler, Toyota’s chief digital officer, in a news conference. “Even if we have the best technology, if it’s not chosen by customers, it will not have the impact of reducing emissions.”
Kuffler added that Toyota is “strongly positioned to lead the world in the best reliable low-cost battery-powered electric vehicles.”
Toyota must rapidly ramp up battery production to meet even a hybrid-focused plan. In fact, executives report Toyota will need to multiply current battery capacity by 30 times to meet its 2030 targets.
The company announced plans to start selling the bZ4X, a fully electric SUV, in mid-2020. But even with this announcement, Toyota lags behind other companies in introducing EVs that compete with Tesla.
The automaker also reported a net profit of $20.6 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, a slight increase over the previous fiscal year. Toyota also forecast higher profits for the next fiscal year, driven by U.S. economic recovery and rising demand for gasoline-powered trucks and SUVs.