They happen to be the biggest automobile manufacturer in the world. Yet Toyota has been strangely absent from the rather robust industry conversation about EVs in the last few years. For a company that spends $13bn annually on research & development and has been at the forefront of advancing tech for eighty years, why haven’t they been jousting with the Americans, Chinese and the marvellous Mr. Musk?
Because they don’t want to be involved in the race to be first. They want to be in the race to be right. There’s your strategy reveal right there.
Toyota believe the world cannot electrify at the pace the other manufacturers think it can. In an interview with Car Expert, Toyota’s Sean Hanley maintains “you’re seeing a car company that’s being honest with the market and saying not every part of the globe can do battery electric vehicles only. Not every part of the globe. It’s part of the solution to carbon neutrality, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle.”
Every day, the media has been filling our screens with derring-do stories about Musk’s EV adventures, America and China fighting over electric battery components and the EU contradicting themselves (maybe it’s unfair to write that the EU contradict themselves daily; probably fairer to write every second day).
But here’s Toyota walking, not running, into a more sustainable automobile future. They’re not throwing everything at electricity, they’re looking at all possibilities. Their only EV profile is the bZ4X, pictured above, for release next year.
I was wondering what other commercial juggernauts have kept away from the EV-flavoured headlines.
So I connected with Jeff Allison, who happened to be flying from Tokyo to Singapore at the time. Jeff, General Manager Marketing and Product at Mitsubishi, recently penned an article for our current hard copy magazine about EV economic viability.
Whilst bouncing around in some China Sea turbulence, he had this to say.
“Many view the automotive future as solely electric, but it’s vital to realize it’s not a binary choice. Yes, electric vehicles will play a significant role, but they won’t be the sole solution. The future of mobility will be shaped by carbon regulations, providing consumers with a multitude of options, from EVs to biofuels and hydrogen fuel cells. This diversity makes the automotive future incredibly promising, particularly for consumers. The most successful brands will be the ones who offer consumers a variety of choices, after all, it’s consumers who’ll decide. In a rapidly changing world, betting on a single horse could mean losing the race.”
It’s sort of refreshing to snap out of the media hypnosis around EVs, don’t you think?
If only until tomorrow.
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