Toyota continues to assert that its vehicle lineup will offer a variety of options over the next 30 years. At the company's annual shareholders meeting, executives reiterated their stance. Toyota has been pushing hybrids and hydrogen for years, and it still insists that it's not time to focus on electric cars.
An investor asked during the meeting why the world's largest automaker (Toyota) has a different view from that of Honda. The competing Japanese brand has set a goal to have a fully electric lineup by 2040. Toyota Director Shigeki Terashi, who joined the call from Toyota's Aichi headquarters, reportedly replied:
“It’s too early to concentrate on one option.”
Terashi added that between now and 2050, the brand needs to offer multiple options, such as hybrids and fuel-cell cars. He also said these vehicle types need to compete with one another to offer people the best options.
While Ford, GM, and Volkswagen have made it clear that they're going "all in" related to a future of EVs, Toyota argues that battery-powered cars aren't necessarily the way of the future. Moreover, it believes "non-electric cars" will continue to thrive in markets across the globe. Toyota’s Chief Technology Officer Masahiko Maeda explained:
“Some people love battery-electric vehicles but others don’t see the current technologies as convenient. In the end what matters is what customers choose.”
As we previously reported, Toyota is saying publically that it will leave the decision to car shoppers. However, Toyota isn't just citing a lack of demand for EVs as the only concern. Rather, according to Automotive News, it also suggests the materials needed to make EV batteries "could account for a larger share of total emissions than those from tailpipes."
Nonetheless, Toyota did say it will make an effort to reduce production costs associated with EVs, though it will do so by producing them alongside other vehicles that don't use battery-electric powertrains.
Toyota says to truly reduce carbon emissions, automakers must look at a vehicle's entire life cycle, not just its tailpipe emissions.
Check out Toyota's stance from back in February 2020: