Toyota CEO Takes A Jab On EVs “We Rather Buy Credits Than Waste EV Investments”

Toyota CEO Ted Ogawa isn’t holding back. The automaker known for its beloved Prius hybrid is taking a sceptical stance on electric vehicles. Ogawa claims EVs will only snag a meagre 30% of the US market by 2030 and openly states Toyota would prefer to buy emission credits than “waste” money building electric cars.

This surprising statement flies in the face of the Biden Administration’s aggressive push for EV adoption and growing enthusiasm for battery-powered cars among consumers. Ogawa cites customer demand as his guiding principle, insisting that the majority of people still want various forms of hybrid vehicles. But is that the full story?

Toyota is pouring nearly €13 billion into its North Carolina battery complex, though it’s intended for both hybrids and a limited number of EV models. The company’s substantial investments in hybrid technology over the years could mean they’re betting on that technology to carry them for quite some time.

While Toyota still holds the title of the world’s best-selling automaker (10.5 million vehicles in 2023), less than 1% of its sales last year were EVs. Could this reluctance signal a lack of confidence in their ability to compete in the rapidly growing EV market? Or is it a strategic long game? Ogawa acknowledges they’re playing catch-up on battery technology but insists Toyota isn’t just about the cars – they’re building an entire EV ecosystem for customers.

This strategy, however, has environmental groups howling. Toyota’s continued focus on hybrid cars has led to accusations of greenwashing, with critics slamming their attempts to confuse consumers with misleading “electrified” marketing lingo.

Price could be the real deal-breaker for Toyota. The CEO seems acutely worried about Chinese automakers like BYD undercutting their prices on the American market. Chinese cars could offer a more affordable alternative. Toyota admits that while their dealers insist they have better products, keeping MSRP competitive might prove increasingly difficult.

Read More: Toyota: ‘Electric Cars Will Have A Market Share Of No More Than 30 Percent’

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