The leader of the largest automaker in the world stated this past week that he is still very skeptical of attempting to shift the market to only creating electric cars and that the vast majority of those who work in the auto industry completely agree with him.
Akio Toyoda, the Toyota Motor chief, issued the statements while talking to the gathered media as part of a visit to Thailand.
“People involved in the auto industry are largely a silent majority,” explained Toyoda. “That silent majority is wondering whether EVs are really OK to have as a single option. But they think it’s the trend so they can’t speak out loudly.”
“Because the right answer is still unclear, we shouldn’t limit ourselves to just one option,” he continued.
The comments were made as news of supply chain issues stemming from the coronavirus pandemic has continued to make it very hard for manufacturers to get their hands on the needed raw materials to create new cars, especially electric cars.
A report from The Wall Street Journal explained that a number of rivals for Toyota have chosen to fully get on board with the push for electric cars — setting lines in the sane for when their respective companies would swap to only the production of electric cars — Toyota has chosen to diversify its product offerings for the future and is focused on making traditional gas cars, hybrids, and hydrogen-powered vehicles.
The Executive Vice President of Sales at Toyota Motor North America, Jack Hollis, stated earlier this year that the company does not think that the demand for electric cars is quite high enough for this kind of choice.
“I don’t think the market is ready. I don’t think the infrastructure is ready,” he explained. “And even if you were ready to purchase one, and if you could afford it … (the price is) still too high … It took 25 years to get to less than 10% (market share) for hybrid … The consumer isn’t demanding (EVs) at that level. The consumer is not screaming, ‘30% or 40% by tomorrow.’”
As the threat of negative economic conditions seems to be lurking in the future of the United States — along with the combined issues of lowered gas prices, increasing interest rates, and high inflation rates — the overall market for electric cars could take quite a bit longer than expected to fully expand.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has also issued a warning to the public of making the shift away from oil and gas too quickly as it will not be as simple as most seem to think and society would be severely damaged almost overnight if it made the choice to stop the use of fossil fuels.
“At this time, we actually need more oil and gas, not less,” stated Musk. “Realistically I think we need to use oil and gas in the short term, because otherwise civilization will crumble. One of the biggest challenges the world has ever faced is the transition to sustainable energy and to a sustainable economy. That will take some decades to complete.”