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Toyota plays down electric vehicles

Akio Toyoda, the president of leading Japanese automobile maker Toyota, has warned against overhyping electric vehicles (EVs), citing that large-scale adoption could place too much strain on electricity grids and actually increase carbon emissions.

Toyoda was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as speaking at a press conference for the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, of which he is the chairman. Toyoda also warned about rushing to ban the sale of diesel- and petroleum-fuelled vehicles too quickly, saying that it risks devastating the automotive industry. He also claimed that if all vehicles in Japan ran on electric power, the infrastructure needed to support this could cost up ¥37 trillion – ~£250 billion – to build.

The automobile manufacturer does plan, however, to have more than 10 EV models available around the world early this decade. It has also developed hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and it will soon launch the second generation of its fuel cell powered Mirai vehicle, which it says will have a driving range of 404 miles – a 30% increase on that of the first-generation model.

According to Oil Price, Toyota says about this:

“The introduction of the new Mirai will see Toyota target deeper market penetration with a 10-fold expansion in sales volume. This growth will be supported by the new model’s stronger performance and greater customer appeal, notably as a more affordable vehicle with a selling price reduced by around 20%.”

Many oil and lubricant companies, like Shell, are promoting hydrogen as an alternative fuel source for powering vehicles that release no carbon dioxide or other harmful emissions.

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