Toyota is announcing today that it is going to bring two electric cars and a plug-in hybrid to the US in 2021.

Toyota is a laggard when it comes to all-electric cars

Toyota has yet to launch an all-electric vehicle outside of China.

Despite the fact that the company announced an acceleration of its electric vehicle plans last year, the Japanese automaker has been focused on hybrids and fuel cell vehicles, and it has often dismissed battery-electric vehicles.

Last year, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda went on a rant about battery-electric vehicles at an annual meeting and he spread misinformation about electric vehicles and claimed that it wasn’t a good idea to push for massive electrification.

Two New Toyota EVs

Today, Toyota announced that it is finally going to bring all-electric vehicles to the US:

“Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) announced plans to debut in the U.S. market this year, three new electrified models – two BEVs and a PHEV.”

Bob Carter, TMNA executive vice president of sales, commented on the announcement

“We continue to be leaders in electrification that began with our pioneering introduction of the Prius nearly 25 years ago. Toyota’s new electrified product offerings will give customers multiple choices of powertrain that best suits their needs.”

The Japanese automaker didn’t elaborate on what will be those new electric vehicles, but it has been talking about working on an all-electric SUV lately.

In the same announcement, Toyota also revealed an internal study that claimed that plug-in hybrids have the same impact on the environment as an all-electric vehicle:

“GHG of a currently available BEV model and PHEV model are roughly the same in on-road performance when factoring in pollutants created by electricity production for the average U.S. energy grid used to charge batteries.”

They released the source code of the study here.

Electrek’s Take

I am always glad to see more electric vehicles coming to the market, but I do feel like Toyota is really dragging its feet on this one reluctantly releasing those vehicles.

It’s crazy. They can’t even stop themselves from taking a job at electric cars in the very same announcement about bringing two new electric cars to the US.

Yes, plug-in hybrids can be very efficient in some use cases, especially if you stick to a less than 30-mile a day commute, but we all know that it’s a compromise, and ultimately, all-electric vehicles combined with renewable electricity production is the way to go.

If Toyota doesn’t see that yet, I’m concerned for the future of the company.

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