Toyota still believes in EV technology.
Hybride technology is still a priority.
Many challenges are expected according to Toyota.
So far, Toyota’s electrification effort has focused on hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles. In fact, the Japanese giant was a pioneer with the introduction of the first Prius in Japan in 1997.
More than a quarter of a century later, Toyota remains the largest distributor of hybrids on the market, but for other options, it’s not so great! Indeed, the number of PHEVs (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) and BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicle) is not as large in the Toyota lineup, with only the bZ4X as a pure electric vehicle.
However, it seems that the carmaker’s culture differs somewhat from the one coming from other car brands that are now focusing exclusively on EV technology for their not-so-distant future. In fact, according to an article published on jalopnik.com, a Toyota internal document obtained via a source at a car dealership reveals why the number of hybrid vehicles is still high and the electric offering remains quite low at this time.
The document cites three barriers that are preventing the wider adoption of electric cars in the United States. And while the Canadian market is not a carbon copy of the one south of the border, admittedly, Canadians face the same challenges as their neighbors to the South.
The mining industry will soon be overwhelmed by the demand for critical minerals for battery production. According to Toyota, more than 300 mines will be needed to meet the growing demand by 2035.
Infrastructure is also a concern, as only 12% of charging stations are fast charging stations that can charge an EV to 80% of battery capacity in less than an hour.
Finally, Toyota adds that the price of electric vehicles is higher than hybrid options. The average purchase price for electric vehicles is $58,000 (in U.S. dollars), while the average price for a hybrid or plug-in hybrid is $48,000 (again in U.S. dollars). The manufacturer also adds that the electric car owner should also consider installing a charging station at home, which adds fees.
The manufacturer also reveals its 1:6:90 rule. This is based on the number of raw materials needed to produce an electric car. According to Toyota, the same number of raw materials allows the production of six plug-in hybrids or 90 hybrids.
And to that statistic, Toyota adds that the overall carbon emission reduction of those 90 hybrids over their lifetime is 37 times greater than that of a single battery electric vehicle.
In short, the point is that Toyota believes in an electric future, but there are still some hurdles to get to full-scale deployment.