Toyota is sticking to its foolish conviction that battery-electric vehicles aren’t the future, claiming that hybrids and hydrogen fuel cells would remain competitive for the next 30 years.
The Japanese manufacturer has been investing on hydrogen fuel cell and hybrid cars for years while ignoring battery-electric cars.
This negative view of electric cars has sometimes come directly from CEO Akio Toyoda, who was spreading misconceptions about battery-electric vehicles as late as last year.
Regardless of the fact that the manufacturer stated an acceleration of its electric car goals last year, the company continues its rhetoric that hybrids and fuel cell hydrogen vehicles are still part of the equation despite those vehicles still being fueled by fossil fuels.
Now, Toyota is saying that non-electric alternatives will still be relevant for at least the next 30 years.
Shigeki Terashi, a director at Toyota, responded to an investor’s query regarding the company’s battery-electric endeavor by saying that he believes alternative powertrains would continue to compete for the next 30 years:
“Terashi, speaking from Toyota’s headquarters in Aichi prefecture, said that in the years leading up to 2050, different options including hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles need to compete against each other so that the company is left with the best options.”
Toyota administrators then take advantage of the opportunity to propagate further disinformation about battery-electric vehicles, saying that the raw materials required to make batteries are potentially more polluting than internal combustion engines.
They made that statement without stating that materials used to make batteries can be recycled, but when gas is burned in an internal combustion engine, it produces dangerous emissions.
When considering the whole life cycle of battery-powered vehicles vs gas-powered vehicles, including the mining of raw materials, a recent research revealed that BEVs are “hundreds of times” better than gasoline automobiles when considering the full emission cycles.
While Toyota continues to criticize BEVs at every opportunity, it has just revealed intentions to introduce some battery-electric cars in the United States — although reluctantly.
The manufacturer couldn’t resist taking a shot at all-electric vehicles and promoting hybrids in the same statement to reaffirm its commitment to deliver two all-electric vehicles to the US earlier this year.
Toyota appears to be attempting to secure its assets, which are now linked to internal combustion engines.
It’s simply unfortunate that they believe it’s OK to mislead and distribute false information about BEVs in order to preserve their company.
We know they’ll alter their tune once customer perceptions of battery-electric cars evolve, but I’m beginning to believe it’ll be too late for them, even if they have a few BEVs on the market by then.