The electric car is increasing rapidly. Chinese manufacturers are leading. But Toyota, the world’s largest car manufacturer, is nothing when it comes to plug-in cars. What about Toyota if the future belongs to the electric car?
Look, these are the three largest car manufacturers in the world: Toyota is number 1 with almost 10.5 million vehicles sold in 2022. The Volkswagen Group, with brands such as VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda, is second with 8.3 million vehicles. South Korea’s Hyundai/Kia is third (6.8 million units sold).
What? how different the list of the biggest manufacturers of electric vehicles (electric hybrids and plug-ins) looks. First here is the Chinese BYD with 1.85 million cars. Second is Tesla, which makes only fully electric cars, with 1.3 million vehicles and third is the Volkswagen group. That made 572,000 electric cars and more than 200,000 plug-in hybrids.
And Toyota? Toyota’s search is on the list of electric cars: we find only the Japanese company at number 23. Toyota built less than 20,000 electric cars last year. That’s less than a Tesla made in 2013.
In terms of electric cars, Toyota is almost non-existent
Toyota made its breakthrough in the 1970s with high-quality and attractive cars – the result of production methods that were very sophisticated at the time. About 25 years ago, the Japanese company introduced its hybrids and was a leader in this for a while. But in e-cars, the concern is almost non-existent.
“Toyota has gone backwards,” concludes Rico Luman, an economist at ING who specializes in the transport, logistics and automotive sectors. “Toyota has focused more on hybrids and hydrogen. But the hydrogen car has disappeared from view. Toyota was wrong.”
The realization has now also penetrated Toyota’s headquarters in Toyota City. At the end of last year, the group announced that it will build new production lines for electric cars. The only electric car that Toyota currently makes comes from the production line of gasoline and hybrid cars.
The car company wants to produce thirty different electronic models by 2030. The production should take shape from 2027-2028. But isn’t that too late? The company has already missed the start of the electronic market.
A third of new cars sold in Germany and the UK are already electric
In December last year, a third of new cars sold in Germany and the UK and a quarter of new cars in China were electric. Europe is considering banning the sale of new diesel and petrol cars from 2035 – a decision that will have an impact on drivers’ choices even earlier. Some experts believe that the majority of cars sold in Europe and China by 2030 will be electric cars.
In the United States, the electric car is taking off thanks to subsidies. And China, the world’s largest car market, has set a goal of half of its vehicle fleet to include electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids by 2035. Then consider that Toyota has yet to begin mass production of plug-in vehicles, that it has to invest billions in this and that it took Tesla nine years to reach the production of 1 million cars, and the conclusion is that Toyota has taken. steer too fast.
There is also still uncertainty about plug-in cars
But maybe the damage isn’t so bad. Sales of plug-in vehicles have so far been ‘subsidy driven’, says Luman. In January of this year, global sales of electric vehicles halved from December 2022. What is the reason? In several countries, subsidies for the purchase of electric vehicles were reduced or eliminated.
There is more uncertainty about electric cars, says Luman. It is still unclear whether Europe will completely ban the petrol car by 2035. Germany, among others, is clamoring against it, as it happened recently. It is doubtful whether the world has all the batteries needed to keep the ship movingit’sand, it can produce. A lack of charging stations could slow demand for electric vehicles.
Outside of Europe and China, there are still many countries where fleet electrification has not yet started, or has not yet started. In those countries, Toyota can still make an impression with its ‘regular’ economical hybrids.
And finally, it is still unclear when an e-car will be cheaper for the average consumer than a conventional hybrid or gasoline car. If that happens soon, as some think, it could increase the demand for electric cars significantly. If it takes years, for example because the prices of battery raw materials are increasing rapidly, it may take longer and future demand for electric vehicles will depend to some extent on the level of subsidies.
Be that as it may, Toyota is in a tough spot and will have to work on its electronic plans. But even if it does, it is likely that the list of the biggest car sellers in 2030 will have a different leader than in 2022.
VW is investing 180 billion in programs and electric cars
Volkswagen will invest up to 180 billion euros in programs and electric vehicles over the next five years. This means that around 70 percent of all spending goes to electric vehicles and apps. The largest European car manufacturer is therefore increasing its battle with the American market leader Tesla in the field of electric vehicles. VW is particularly increasing its use in battery development and production. The company wants to set up six battery factories in Europe alone. The company also has plans to build a battery factory in Canada, the first outside of Europe. VW is also spending more on sourcing raw materials for the production of electric vehicles. (AP)
Electric cars and hybrids are popular with individuals
More than half of the new cars bought in the past six months were electric or partially electric. The market share of gasoline-only vehicles fell to 40 percent.