Toyota Defends Pace Of Electrification Plans, Says Customers Need Options

Toyota has defended its electrification plans and said it sees a future for various different powertrain technologies despite many rivals heading down the all-electric route.

While speaking at its general meeting on Wednesday, Toyota’s chief technology officer Masahiko Maeda told Danish pension fund AkademikerPension that the company’s ultimate “goal is carbon neutrality.” The pension fund also asked Toyota to stop lobbying for policies than can undermine the transition to BEVs.

Read More: Toyota Says They’re “Pro BEV” And The bZ4X Has The “Right Range”

Maeda believes that “customers need to choose” and that a variety of powertrain options should be available. AkademikerPension wasn’t happy with the response.

“Toyota used the pretext of customer choices to avoid answering the question about lobbying activities … to slow the transition towards fossil-fuel-free cars,” it said in a statement after the meeting. “As investors, we expect more in 2022 against the backdrop of the climate crisis threatening to limit much more than customer choices in a not-so-distant future.”

Toyota believes that hybrids remain important in markets that do not have the charging infrastructure to support a rapid transition to electric vehicles. It also believes that hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles can play an important role in the auto industry and is also exploring the viability of green fuels to power its future combustion engine vehicles.

While some aren’t happy with the pace of the car manufacturer’s electrification plans, it has committed to spending 8 trillion yen ($60 billion) by 2030 to electrify its cars. Half of these will be for all-electric vehicles. However, whereas some car manufacturers expect EVs to account for a majority of sales by the end of the decade, Toyota expects to be selling 3.5 million EVs annually by 2030, roughly a third of its current sales, Yahoo reports.

In separate news, Toyota chief executive Akio Toyoda acknowledged that he is thinking about the timing and selection of his successor, although the 66-year-old doesn’t plan to step down yet.

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