When I read about the direction of Toyota regarding their future vehicles, I became highly intrigued and wanted to delve deeper. As I delved deeper, it became evident that Toyota had initially embraced electric vehicles (EVs), but now they are shifting their focus towards different approaches. Toyota is exploring various strategies and not solely relying on EVs. I feel compelled to share my thoughts on Toyota’s roadmap.
I acknowledge that I do not claim Toyota’s moves to be the best, but when a major automotive company like Toyota makes a decision that will have a significant impact on the future of the automotive industry, it is likely that they have conducted extensive studies and research beforehand. Whatever they have decided should be thoroughly examined, as they would not take such bold steps without conducting thorough studies and research and engaging in extensive research and development (R&D) processes.
The world isn’t ready for it
Toyota has been in the news for refusing to make the switch to all-electric vehicles, and the reason is interesting. According to Toyota sources, the world’s automotive market isn’t ready to fully adopt EVs.
Toyota is concerned that moving entirely to electric vehicles will not be possible soon. Chief Akio Toyoda held the assessment that EVs are just “overhyped” and that having an excessive number of them might actually be tricky. He believes that EVs cannot be widely adopted due to their high price and lack of supporting infrastructure. However, due to the fact that EVs only make up about one percent of the global automotive fleet, all of this is currently hidden from view. Assuming that the number of electric vehicles floods, the truth will begin to gradually sink. When electric vehicles flood the market, the most pressing issue will be the electricity demand.
The U.S. alone requires a 40 percent expansion in power creation to endure the heap request that EVs will make by 2030. To put it another way, they need to invest approximately $100 billion in the current electricity supply chain. Albeit a few pieces of Europe and Asia as of now have progressed frameworks because of higher EV shopper interest, it’s still distant from adequate on the off chance that each vehicle proprietor chooses to go electric.
Indeed, Toyota’s arguments make so much sense. First, we lack sufficient electric power for EVs. Second, fossil fuels are the world’s primary source of electricity. This indicates that increasing the number of electric vehicles will not reduce emissions; rather, it will only alter the source. His critics might all be wrong because Akio Toyoda said that carbon is the enemy, not combustion engines, in his statement.
Global EV adoption is not uniform, according to general observations. Europe and China are two of the markets moving at a faster rate than the United States. Then there are other markets, like Africa, that are a long way behind because they lack EV infrastructure. The world isn’t ready to push the all-EV agenda as a block because of this imbalance.
According to Toyota, going entirely electric will result in complete darkness for a significant number of its customers. Toyota is the only automaker to have entered the global market with over 10.5 million units sold in 200 countries in 2021. The business claims a sizable share of all markets, particularly those in developing nations where charging infrastructure is severely lacking. These districts can’t stand to set up a framework to help EVs by 2035.
Additionally, electric vehicles are pricey. The public authority endowments to boost individuals to purchase EVs make them somewhat less expensive right now. However, when mass production begins, it is unknown how long governments will retain these incentives. Without motivating forces, numerous purchasers might want to break their banks just to claim an electric vehicle.
Toyota takes a balanced approach instead
By all accounts, going completely electric seems to be an ideal intention to diminish fossil fuel byproducts. Be that as it may, Toyota’s central researcher, Gill Pratt, invalidates this thought by overhearing people’s conversations, yet with proof from a numerical model he formulated. According to Pratt’s model, hybrid and gas-powered vehicles produce fewer overall emissions than electric vehicles alone. Toyota’s reluctance to go entirely electric is rooted in this. Instead of going all-electric, the company believes that a diverse powertrain is more practical. The term “balanced approach” suggests hybrid automobiles. That is the reason Toyota is forcefully pushing to create hydrogen-controlled vehicles as well.
Lithium-ion batteries power electric vehicles. It is clear from the name that lithium is a key component in the production of batteries. Sadly, Lithium is not one of those elements that are abundant on Earth. When mass production of electric vehicles begins, the Toyota team predicts that there will soon be a shortage of lithium.
Given the limited supply, they are concerned about where it will be sourced. “Killing two birds with one stone” is synonymous with Toyota’s proposed solution to this issue. In contrast to larger batteries for electric-only vehicles, they recommend making smaller batteries for hybrid vehicles. On one hand, this proposition will resolve the issue of lithium deficiency by spreading the restricted lithium to additional batteries. In contrast, hybrid automobiles will produce fewer emissions than vehicles with conventional combustion engines.
How the world will function with only electric vehicles on the road has not yet been established. However, Toyota explains what to anticipate. As per Pratt, going all EVs will strain the world’s metal assets used to make batteries. Aside from Lithium, the interest in other significant metals in the production of batteries, for example, nickel and manganese will go up.
This may have an impact on how much cars and batteries cost in the end. At present, state-run administrations have placed endowments on electric vehicles to boost individuals to purchase. These motivators won’t be there for eternity. Counting on government incentives, which have the potential to end at any time, is extremely risky for Toyota.