Toyota is finally “fully committed" to BEVs: White House Senior Advisor says
Japanese multination automotive manufacturer Toyota Motor Corporation is now fully committed to electrification, White House senior advisor John Podesta told reporters after holding a meeting with Toyota USA officials.
For the last several years, the Japanese manufacturer has been under constant pressure from the side of investors and environmental groups due to its slow progress in the field of electrification of its vehicles. In fact, the automobile giant has always been the most vocal critic of electrification.
However, Toyota’s stance has changed a lot after a new management team took over on 1st of April. The new team has promised that switching from internal combustion engines (ICEs) to BEVs would be one of its top priorities. Just a few weeks back, the company announced plans to produce and launch at least 10 new battery electric models by the end of 2026. It has set an ambitious global annual production target of 1.5 million BEVs by 2026. To achieve that target, the company is ready to invest huge amounts of money in the electrification of its vehicles and production lines.
Taking Toyota's promise about BEVs at face value following a meeting with senior company officials, Podesta told reporters that the Japanese manufacturer is finally completely committed to producing battery-powered, environment-friendly vehicles.
The senior advisor, however, didn’t forget to remind people that the Japanese manufacturer has thus far lagged behind almost all major car makers in terms of electrification of vehicles.
Podesta, who is a Senior Advisor to the U.S. President for Clean Energy Innovation & Implementation, met with Toyota Research Institute Chief executive Officer (CEO) Gill Pratt and Toyota North America Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Christopher Reynolds.
After the meeting, Podesta said, “I think they're going to stick with plug-in hybrids for a while, maybe longer than some of the other companies but they're fully now committed under their new leadership to electrification.”
While American manufacturers like General Motor Co. (GM) and German manufacturers like Volkswagen (VW) have been accelerating the pace of their transition from ICEs to EVs for the last several years, Toyota kept arguing against the quick transition. Toyota and its luxury car brand Lexus have thus far launched only three battery-electric models – the bZ4X SUV, the bZ3 sedan, and Lexus UX. The bZ3 sedan is a China-only model. In other words, only two of Toyota’s electric models are available globally. Last year, the company sold fewer than 25,000 units of its BEVs worldwide.