Toyota’s chairman and former CEO, Akio Toyoda, is at it again: providing the public with a dose of reality that electric vehicles will never dominate the global car market.
Toyoda, grandson of the founder of the world’s largest car manufacturer, expressed at a business event this month, as reported by The Telegraph, that EVs will never capture 30% of global market share.
He explained that petrol-burning vehicles and hybrids, along with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, will dominate.
Toyoda made the point: How can EVs be the future when a billion people on Earth have no electricity?
Data from Statista shows nearly a billion people in the world are living without electricity.
He noted: “Customers — not regulations or politics — should make that decision.”
Over the years, Toyota has openly demonstrated defiance against governments and NGOs pushing for 100% EVs in just a few decades, if not earlier.
In October, Toyoda told reporters at an auto show in Japan that EVs aren’t the silver bullet against the supposed ills of carbon emissions they’re often made out to be.
Toyota has a history of being at the forefront of adopting new technologies. However, its slow EV adoption is because of its mistrust of lithium-ion batteries, and it has positioned itself to be a leader in hybrid vehicles.
Perhaps Toyoda has been vindicated to some extent as EV demand slumps.
In recent days, Ford announced plans to slash production of its all-electric F-150 Lightning in April “to achieve the optimal balance of production, sales growth and profitability.”
For those who purchased EVs during the Covid mania, the average price of a used Tesla has collapsed.
And used Tesla prices are likely to slide more as rental car company Hertz Global Holdings has decided to dump 20,000 EVs onto the already sliding used car market.
BloombergNEF data shows prices of EVs that were part of rental car fleets have also crashed.
Toyoda concluded: “Engines will surely remain.”
Will Elon Musk respond to Toyoda’s comments?