On numerous occasions, Toyota has objected to the normalization of electric vehicles (EVs) across the globe, stating that this is an “unrealistic” goal. Speaking along the same lines in his recent discussion with Reuters, the Chief Scientist at Toyota Gill Pratt stated that Toyota merely wanted a “diversity of powertrains” across the globe.
He said the company does not have an opinion as to which powertrain is best suited for reducing the carbon footprint, but it does advocate against dismissing all other powertrains in the favor of electric powertrains.
It is pertinent to note that Toyota is one of the key players in the hybrid car arena, which is a position they would like to safeguard and keep relevant. The company is also known for being an active player in the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle (HFCV) arena, which is yet to catch on, even in the most advanced car markets due to limited refueling infrastructure.
Whilst continuing its ideological crusade against the normalization of EVs, Toyota is making efforts to enter the EV market itself. Earlier this year, Toyota revealed its first-ever EV concept as a part of its ‘Beyond Zero’ lineup of EVs.
The concept, dubbed “bZ4X”, is an all-electric crossover SUV that is underpinned by a dedicated EV platform that was built jointly by Toyota and Subaru, and reportedly features two electric motors and an all-wheel-drive powertrain. The BZ4X is set to make its global market debut in the 2nd or 3rd quarter of 2022, although, a fixed date is yet to be confirmed by the company.
Also, about two months ago, Toyota announced that it would be investing $13.5 billion in the development of EV batteries over the next eight and a half years to make a speedy headway into the EV market. The aim is to “improve power consumption, which is an indicator of the amount of electricity used per kilometer, by 30 percent, starting with the Toyota bZ4X”.
However, the car industry aficionados are of the view that the company’s efforts to make headway into the EV market seem too little and too late at this point. Whereas the American and the European automakers around the world have introduced several all-electric cars in their respective lineups, Toyota is still fiddling with hybrid technology.
It is believed that, in the advanced markets around the world, this trait is causing Toyota more harm than good, as the automakers such as Tesla, Volkswagen, Mercedes, and others are expanding their market shares much faster than Toyota due to their EV lineups.