Toyota is regarded as the pioneering automaker that popularized environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles around the world. It is also considered to have paved the way for all the environmentally friendly Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) that entered the international markets after the Toyota Prius.
However, recently it publically contended against the complete electrification of vehicles in the near future by saying that while it embraces electric vehicles and is making active efforts to continue reducing its emissions, it does not favor a swift transition of all cars from fossil fuel power to electric power, and called the goal “unrealistic”.
This statement has reportedly resulted in the formation of two lobbies, one of which supports HEVs as it believes that the EV charging infrastructure and the grid support is not yet sufficient to accommodate the mainstream use of EVs, and the other that feels that Toyota has initiated this “campaign” to protect its baseline products on account of falling behind in the race to become an “all-electric car maker”.
Various car analysts in the global auto industry have affirmed the second theory and stated that Toyota has been “caught flat-footed” for not keeping up with the rapid paradigm shift. Reports also disclosed that it is under immense pressure and has become “politically active” to safeguard its market share due to the aforementioned reason.
Interestingly, as Toyota lobbies against the complete electrification of vehicles for the near future, it is also making efforts to become active in the EV market. It recently formed an alliance with Daihatsu, Suzuki, Isuzu, and Hino to make a splash in the passenger and commercial vehicle markets with a joint EV venture.
Regarding this, the President of the Toyota Motor Corp., Akio Toyoda, said,
With Suzuki and Daihatsu joining the project and working together, we’ll be able to expand our circle of cooperation to not only cover commercial vehicles but also mini vehicles. With this expansion, I believe that we’ll be able to take one step closer to a better mobility society.
Despite the lobbying, Toyota is persevering to better its position in the global EV market while publically acknowledging that EVs are indeed the future of mobility around the world.