Toyota's executive VP for sales in North America – Jack Hollis – recently dished out his opinions related to the future of EV adoption in the US. In short, Hollis believes it will be difficult for the US to reach its 2030 EV adoption goals due to a lack of consumer demand for electric cars.
Toyota is the world's hybrid champ, and it has been hesitating to dive headfirst into EV development and production for years now. The automaker has even gone so far as to create ad campaigns that promote hybrids over EVs, calling them "self-charging."
Essentially, Toyota believes that consumers should continue to have choices when it comes to their car's powertrain. Moreover, the Japanese automaker insists that those consumers will ultimately make the final decision when it comes to EV adoption.
Meanwhile, the US government hopes some 50 percent or more of new car sales will be of the fully electric variety by 2030. The Biden administration shared the lofty goal in 2021, and since then, many automakers have been pushing forward with EVs and sharing their efforts and plans with the public.
This isn't the first time Toyota as an automaker, and/or one of its executives has suggested the market isn't ready for EV adoption for a number of reasons, including a lack of charging infrastructure and high starting prices.
With that said, Hollis' statements come at a time when gas prices have been historically high, the demand for EVs is growing exponentially, and most other automakers are making massive investments in the segment.
Teslarati cites a Forbes report that shows EVs made up over 5 percent of the new car market in the US for H1 2022, which was more than double that of the first half of 2021. Nonetheless, Hollis said:
“I don’t think the market is ready. I don’t think the infrastructure is ready. And even if you were ready to purchase one, and if you could afford it … they’re still too high.”
Hollis went on to share that even though Toyota has been selling hybrids for over 20 years, people still don't want them nearly as much as they do traditionally powered cars. He added that hybrids are more affordable than EVs and they don't cause range anxiety, but we still can't get the masses to buy them. Hollis continued via Teslarati:
“It took 25 years to get to less than 10% (market share) for hybrids — which is affordable, which is done with resources that are available."
“The consumer isn’t demanding it at that level. The consumer is not screaming, ‘30% or 40% by tomorrow.’ And when you start pushing consumers into things they’re not ready for, some other consequence will occur."
It should also be noted that Tesla is the only EV-only automaker in the US. Despite its high prices, the company is hugely successful, and the demand for its vehicles is constantly growing.
In fact, about two-thirds (66 percent) of all new battery-electric vehicles sold in the US in the first half of 2022 were Tesla's models, and consumers are waiting as long as a year or more to take delivery. If there were a number of other compelling EVs available on the market today, perhaps people would be buying them instead of waiting for a Tesla.