Toyota is sticking to its delusional belief that battery-electric vehicles aren’t necessarily the future as they claim hybrids and fuel cell hydrogen will stay competitive for the next 30 years.
For years, the Japanese automaker has invested in hydrogen fuel cell and hybrid vehicles while talking down battery-electric vehicles.
This bad-mouthing of electric vehicles has often come directly from CEO Akio Toyoda, who, as recently as last year, was spreading misinformation about battery-electric vehicles.
Despite the fact that the company announced an acceleration of its electric vehicle plans last year, the automaker keeps its rhetoric that hybrids and fuel cell hydrogen vehicles are still part of the solution despite those vehicles still being powered by fossil fuels.
Now, Toyota is claiming that non-electric options will still be important for at least the next 30 years.
When answering a question from an investor about the company’s battery-electric effort, Shigeki Terashi, a director at Toyota, said that he believes alternative powertrains will continue to compete for the next 30 years (via Bloomberg):
“Terashi, speaking from Toyota’s headquarters in Aichi prefecture, said that in the years leading up to 2050, different options including hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles need to compete against each other so that the company is left with the best options.”
Toyota executives then use the occasion to again spread misinformation about battery-electric vehicles by claiming that raw materials used to produce batteries can be more polluting than internal combustion engines.
They made that claim without mentioning materials used to build batteries can be recycled, while once gas is burnt in an internal combustion engine, it becomes harmful emissions, and that’s it.
A recent study that looked at the complete life cycle of battery-powered vehicles versus gas-powered vehicles showed, including mining raw materials, found that BEVs are ‘hundreds of times’ better than petrol cars when accounting for the full emission cycles.
While Toyota is still using every occasion it can find to trash BEVs, it recently announced plans to launch some battery-electric vehicles in the US – though it appears to be doing it reluctantly.
In the very announcement to confirm its plan to bring two all-electric vehicles to the US earlier this year, the automaker couldn’t resist taking a jab at all-electric vehicles and promote hybrids.
Toyota sounds like it is trying to protect its assets, which are currently tied to internal combustion engine vehicles.
It is just sad that they think it’s OK to lie and spread misinformation about BEVs in other to protect their business.
We know that they will change their rhetoric when the inevitable consumer perception shift toward battery-electric vehicles happens, but I’m truly starting to think it’s going to be too late for them even if they have a few BEVs on the market by then.
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