JAPAN: Toyota Motor Corp. plans to launch 10 new battery-powered models and sell 1.5 million electric vehicles annually by 2026. Senior executives announced plans for a new leadership team and a new specialist company to focus on next-generation battery EVs.
Investors and environmental organisations have criticised the company for adopting battery-powered vehicles slowly, pointing out that it has lost market share to Tesla Inc. and other companies.
The company has responded that gasoline-electric hybrids are a more practical option for some markets and drivers and that EVs are the only option for consumers.
The company’s CEO Koji Sato announced that hybrids will continue to be a pillar, but in the next few years they will expand their line-up in the battery electric category, which is expected to account for more than half of all vehicle production globally by 2030. To meet this demand, Toyota will increase manufacturing in the US.
The company’s first-quarter sales in the US decreased by 9%, while GM saw an 18% increase due to increased demand from fleet and commercial clients. According to S&P Global Mobility, the majority of electric car purchases are made by Toyota and Honda.
East Peterson-Trujillo, a clean car advocate with Public Citizen, believes Toyota is falling behind in making the next big innovation leap, and more people in the US are starting to understand this.
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