In a speech to industry executives, Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda predicted the global new-car market for electric vehicles will be limited.
The chairman of Toyota predicts electric vehicles will only ever make up 30 per cent of global new-car sales.
Akio Toyoda, chairman and former CEO of Toyota, told the audience at a business event he believes hybrid, hydrogen fuel-cell, and hydrogen combustion engines will form the other 70 per cent of the market, according to company magazine Toyota Times.
Mr Toyoda said the solution to “climb the mountain of carbon neutrality is related to each country’s energy situation”.
“However, one billion people around the world live in areas without electricity. In the case of Toyota, we also supply vehicles to these regions, so a single [battery-electric vehicle] option cannot provide transportation for everyone,” he said in the translated speech.
“That’s why I try to have a variety of options [within Toyota’s line-up].”
Toyota has faced criticism from environmental groups in recent years for resisting the industry trend to move its entire model line-up to electric – instead insisting on continuing to develop hybrid and hydrogen technologies alongside electric vehicles.
“No matter how much progress [battery-electric vehicles] make, I think they will still only have a 30 per cent market share,” Mr Toyoda said.
“Then, the remaining 70 per cent will be [hybrid-electric vehicles], [hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles], and hydrogen engines. And I think [internal-combustion] engine cars will definitely remain.”
Mr Toyoda added that he believed the split would be driven by buyers, rather than “regulatory values or political power”.
“Japan has its own way of doing things. I don’t think the correct answer is to try to imitate the West in everything. I believe that if we continue to be chosen by the market and customers, the future will definitely change.”