Toyota Calls EV Investment a “Potential Waste”

Japanese auto giant Toyota known for frequently expressing discontent regarding electric vehicles has once again harshly criticized EVs, saying that even with their rapid growth, EVs aren’t worth the time and effort to invest in.

Related: EVs Will Never Dominate the Market, Says Akio Toyoda

The latest statement comes from Toyota’s CEO for North America, Tetsuo Ogawa who effectively described the wholesale switch to electric vehicles as a potential waste. Instead, Ogawa, a longtime member of Toyota, said that money would be better spent on emissions credits to meet climate goals. According to a report in Automotive News, Ogawa said:

“Wasted investment is worse than the credit purchase.”

tetsuo ogawa t
Tetsuo Ogawa

According to Ogawa, there isn’t yet enough demand for electric vehicles to support a full-fledged switch from gasoline-powered and hybrid vehicles to electric vehicles. Ogawa said that, even though the EPA is reevaluating the EV regulations and might even go back a little, it is probably a better idea from a business standpoint to consider what customers want, as opposed to what the government wants.

Related: Toyota Says EVs ‘Impractical’ for Australian Drivers- Tesla Retaliates Against ‘Cynical’ Attack

He went on to say that the company would be better off buying credits from other car companies than living with a “wasted investment,” in which it would pour billions of dollars into EV development, including battery manufacturing, to qualify for U.S. incentives. For example, Toyota has already committed to a $1.3 billion EV development offensive in Kentucky, its flagship U.S. facility.

Toyota is one of the top-selling automakers, but EVs accounted for less than 1% of its total sales last year. Commenting on this, Ogawa said:

“Of course, compared to Tesla, we are behind; that may be true. However, we are now catching up, not only the product but also the ecosystem surrounding the BEV area, such as the home charging or energy management.”

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