Toyota Calls California Zero-Emissions Requirements ‘Difficult’

Toyota President Akio Toyoda said California’s new zero-emission requirements that seek to end sales of new gasoline-only vehicles by 2035 will be “difficult” to meet.

Related: California Bans ICE Vehicle Sales by 2035

During a roundtable interview with reporters, Akio said: “Realistically speaking, it seems rather difficult to really achieve them.” Toyoda defended the company’s strategy and electric vehicle development plans, which have come under criticism from some environmental groups and investors who want the company to move faster to adopt battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

Toyoda went on to add: “But just like the fully autonomous cars that we were all supposed to be driving by now, BEVs are just going to take longer to become mainstream than the media would like us to believe.”

Related: Toyota to Start Selling bZ3 Electric Sedan in China by Year End

Automakers are facing increasing pressure from regulators to sell more zero-emission vehicles. New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently said the state plans to adopt the California requirements. In August, Toyota said it would boost its planned investment in a new U.S. battery plant from $1.29 billion to $3.8 billion, partly in response to rising consumer demand for electric vehicles. The automaker also last month recognized California’s authority to set vehicle emissions standards under the U.S. Clean Air Act.

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Toyoda said “playing to win means playing with all the cards in the deck – not just a select few. So that’s our strategy and we’re sticking to it.” He compared the automaker to a “department store” selling a variety of different vehicles to customers with different needs.

Related: Toyota to Convert Engine Plants to Battery Factories

Toyoda outlined a series of challenges to EV adoption including impacts on the electrical grid and lack of easy access to electricity by about 1 billion people around the world. Toyota’s corporate vision “is to provide freedom of mobility for all … and we don’t want to leave anyone behind,” he added.

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Last year, the Japanese automaker committed about $30 billion to develop battery electric vehicles. It expects the company’s annual sales of such cars to reach only 3.5 million vehicles by the end of the decade, about one-third of the current annual sales of its gasoline-powered cars.

From Reuters

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