Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda, yesterday, emphasized his lack of enthusiasm for electric vehicles (EVs) by simply saying, “I love cars.”
Toyoda is of the view that EVs are not the solution to achieving carbon neutrality. Under his leadership, the company is focusing on the development of hybrid and fuel cell technology.
During his conference with the media in Los Vegas, Toyoda stated:
For me, playing to win also means doing things differently. Doing things that others may question, but that we believe will put us in the winner’s circle the longest.
Over the next nine years, Toyota plans to invest $70 billion in new energy vehicle (NEV) development. Half of that will go toward battery electric vehicles (BEVs). While that is a large sum, CNBC claims that it is still significantly smaller than the investments by competitors in the EV arena.
Befriending the Opposition
Critics continue to grill Toyota for its leisurely pace in EV development efforts despite being the world’s largest automaker. Instead of retaliating, the company has softened its stance against critics in a push for EVs.
A report from the Wall Street Journal suggests that the company is engaging with critics to mitigate further deterioration of its environmental image.
It claims that Toyota has been in talks with Greenpeace and other environmental protection advocates to revitalize its image. It has also begun reserving seats for environment preservation groups at its EV-related press events.
Although, Toyota still maintains that HEVs are a key-stepping stone toward EV normalization. It states that the EV support infrastructure is still too weak to support the needs of the masses.