Toyota’s President Says Electric Vehicles Are Overhyped

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal detailed the skepticism of Toyota’s president, Akio Toyoda, toward electric vehicles. This is a big deal because Toyota was the third-largest vehicle manufacturer in terms of vehicle sales in the United States during 2019.

Mr. Toyoda criticized what he described as “excessive hype over electric vehicles, saying advocates failed to consider the carbon emitted by generating electricity and the costs of an EV transition.” He continued:

“Japan would run out of electricity in the summer if all cars were running on electric power. The infrastructure needed to support a fleet consisting entirely of EVs would cost Japan between ¥14 trillion and ¥37 trillion, the equivalent of $135 billion to $358 billion, he said.

“When politicians are out there saying, ‘Let’s get rid of all cars using gasoline,’ do they understand this?” Mr. Toyoda said Thursday at a year-end news conference in his capacity as chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.”

Mr. Toyoda’s comments come at a time when the government of Japan was rumored to be considering banning the sale of gasoline engines after 2035, emulating California’s proposed ban. Pushback from Japanese automakers seems to have stopped the government from announcing the new policy.

Forcing a transition to EVs would make car ownership unattainable for the average person, according to Toyoda, who said:

“He said he feared government regulations would make cars a “flower on a high summit”—out of reach for the average person.”

We’re already seeing this California, where low-income communities are pushing back against the policies like banning new gasoline car sales put forward by ultra-wealthy Governor Gavin Newsom because they make it more difficult for low-income families to be able afford vehicles. This trend will get worse as more governments try to outlaw the internal combustion engine.