Drivers rather than regulators or politicians should decide which vehicles they choose, Akio Toyoda has said
Electric vehicles (EVs) will never dominate the market and consumers should not be forced to buy them, Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda stated in comments published on the company’s website on Tuesday.
Battery-powered vehicles will only ever reach 30% of the global market, while the rest will comprise hybrids, hydrogen fuel-cell, and fuel-burning cars, according to the head of the Japanese carmaker.
Toyoda believes that EVs should not be developed to the exclusion of other technologies at a time when a billion people worldwide still live without electricity, while battery-powered EVs are expensive and need charging infrastructure.
Speaking at a business event earlier this month, Toyoda, whose grandfather founded Toyota in Japan in 1937, called for a “multi-pathway approach.” He added that the shift towards EVs will not happen as quickly as many think and that “customers – not regulations or politics – should make that decision,” referring to the net-zero emission targets many Western governments are pushing for.
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Pushing back against the focus on battery EVs at the expense of alternatives, Toyoda said: “‘The enemy is CO2. So, let’s all think about reducing CO2.”
Toyoda’s comments come after electric car sales in both the UK and EU weakened toward the end of last year. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the market share of electric cars in the UK decreased last year as some drivers were reluctant to buy them over fears about their high cost and the lack of charging points.
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