Hybrids and fuel cells will stay competitive with EVs up to 2050: Toyota

Hybrids and fuel cells will stay competitive with EVs up to 2050: Toyota

Continuing to stick to its delusional belief that battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) are not necessarily the future in terms of transport, Japanese automobile giant Toyota has once again argued that hybrids and fuel cell hydrogen will remain competitive for many decades to come.

As automobile manufacturers across the world are accelerating their shift from internal combustion engines to EVs, Toyota has invested heavily in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell technologies over the years. Its top executives have openly talked down BEVs.

Responding to a question from an investor, Toyota Director Shigeki Terashi said that alternative powertrains like hybrids and fuel cell hydrogen technology would remain competitive for at least the next three decades (30 years). He stressed that BEVs are thus not necessarily the future.

Quoting Terashi, Bloomberg reported, “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.”

It is not the first time that a senior Toyota executive has talked down of BEVs. Akio Toyoda, the chief executive of Toyota, has repeatedly spread misinformation about BEVs. Last year, he petitioned the Japanese government to reconsider its proposed blanket ban on ICE vehicle sales. Criticizing the EV transition, he said that there was an “excessive hype” over EVs. He also argued that EV advocates failed to consider the carbon emitted during the process of electricity generation and the high costs of EV transition.

Then, he allegedly tried to spread misinformation about BEVs by claiming that raw materials used to manufacture batteries are more polluting than ICEs. The Toyota chief’s controversial comment prompted many experts to argue that fossil fuel-powered ICEs are much more polluting than BEVs and their battery packs.

Despite all that bad-mouthing for the BEVs, Toyota is also working on some EV projects, though it seems to be doing that reluctantly.

Around a couple of months back, Toyota announced a new global series of seven all-electric vehicles that will be produced under its "Beyond Zero" brand. The first of these BEVs wearing the "BZ" badge will be a SUV, called the BZ4X Concept. Overall, the Japanese automaker has plans to launch at least 70 electrified models by 2025, and 15 of those models will be fully-electric vehicles.