Toyota China's Engineering and Manufacturing President Seiya Nakao said at the Beijing Motor Show that electrification is progressing faster than expected. However, another Toyota spokesperson said 2025 is not even a formal target at this point.
When we saw this news stream in, it occurred to us that this seems to mirror Toyota's announcement from over a year ago. In 2017, Toyota said it would sell 5.5 million electrified cars per year by 2030. Then, in 2019, it said it would achieve it by 2025. So, why are publications publishing this as new news now?
To be honest, we're not really sure what's new here, except maybe a few additional details related to numbers, which arguably makes the announcement even more negative depending on how you look at it. However, the story got us interested, so we did some research. Not surprisingly, almost every outlet that covered the original stories, as well as the recent update, seemed to be happy for Toyota and excited about the future. For InsideEVs, that's not really the case.
While Toyota is making it seem like it is now accelerating its electric car plans, it hasn't made any adjustments to the plan in over a year. The plan actually applies to "electrified" vehicles, which we know are mostly Toyota's infamous "self-charging hybrids."
Toyota sold some 10 million vehicles globally in 2019. About 2 million were "electrified." It's nice to hear that in five years the number of electrified vehicles the automaker plans to sell may more than double. However, some 4.5 million of those cars will by hybrids, some of which will have a plug. The remaining 1 million vehicles may be fully electric cars or fuel-cell vehicles.
With little Tesla working to crank out 500,000 electric cars in the worst year we've seen in a long time, less than 1 million from Toyota in five years doesn't seem to be something to be excited about. Instead, it seems like another reason to discount Toyota for waiting so long, advertising self-charging hybrids, and continuing to bank on fuel-cell technology. This is especially true since Toyota – the king of hybrids and the latest tech – may have the ability and resources far above any other company on the planet to really excel with EVs.
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