EVs Were Less Than 1% of Toyota’s Record Global Sales in 2023

Toyota is often heavily criticized for being too sluggish towards embracing pure electric vehicles. And it became even more evident with Toyota’s latest global sales data.

In 2023, the Japanese automaker sold a record 11,233,039 cars including those from its subsidiaries, but out of that mammoth number, only 104,018 units were EVs making it just 0.926% of Toyota’s worldwide sales. This is in stark contrast to leading EV makers of the world including Tesla’s 1.81 million vehicles and BYD’s 1.57 million units.

Auto sales statistics China Toyota bZ4x EV SUV

Although the “Beyond Zero” (bZ) range is expected to include many electric vehicles in the forthcoming years, the company predicts that battery-powered EVs will always be in the minority. Pure electric vehicles are predicted to make up only 30% of total sales, even after Toyota expands its electric lineup. In a recent interview, Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda said:

“No matter how much BEVs progress, I think they will have a market share of 30%. That leaves the remaining 70% as HEVs, FCEVs, or hydrogen engines. I have no doubt that engine vehicles will survive.”

He added that electric vehicles should not be developed to the exclusion of other technologies such as the hybrid and hydrogen-powered cars that his company has focused on. Akio who has long been a proponent of hybrids and alternative fuels such as hydrogen, claimed EVs will only secure a maximum of 30% of the market whereas the remaining 70% will be taken by hybrids, hydrogen fuel cells, and traditional combustion engines.

Toyota bZ3 03

But there are certain signals Toyota just can’t afford to avoid. For example, the emergence of the Tesla Model Y which dethroned the Toyota Corolla (all body variants combined) to become the world’s highest-selling car in 2023. Some may claim that Toyota is pursuing a dead end with hydrogen automobiles. And that could turn out to be a financial disaster. However, the automotive behemoth has the resources to throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks. The ultimate objective is carbon neutrality, and Toyota would prefer to find other ways to get there than by taking the fully electric route.

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