Toyota Boss Claims EVs Will Never Exceed 30% Market Share

Toyota boss Akio Toyoda says electric vehicles will never dominate the global market. According to the executive, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will not exceed 30% of the market share even if consumers adopt the alternative energy vehicles in mass.

Although Toyota was the first automaker to develop and sell alternative-energy vehicles, the Japanese company hasn’t been keen on adopting BEVs. It is the only established carmaker that hasn’t manufactured or planned to manufacture a fully electric vehicle; the company has instead placed all its bets on hydrogen-fuel-cell vehicles.

Toyoda explained that while electric vehicles still had a place in global transportation, petrol vehicles, hybrids and hydrogen fuel cells would dominate the market. The executive noted that with hundreds of millions of people still living with no access to electricity, EVs couldn’t be the future of transportation.

According to data from Statista, around one billion people around the world live with no electricity. The Toyota executive said the company is exploring various options to serve people living in regions where charging an electric car is not possible. At most, he said, EVs will account for 30% of the market share and will not dethrone combustion engine vehicles as the main form of vehicular transportation.

Toyoda said that the decision to transition to electric cars should be made by customers, not politics or regulations. Unlike other established automakers, Toyota has repeatedly defied pressure from governments and NGOs to follow accelerated electrification timelines. This also isn’t the first time Toyoda has spoken out against the global push to electrify transportation over the next couple of decades. In October 2023, the executive attended an auto show in Japan and said electric vehicles weren’t the silver bullet against carbon-dioxide emissions.

Proponents of electrification say battery electric cars are key to reducing emissions in the transportation sector. The absence of an internal combustion engine cuts their tailpipe emissions to zero and makes them suitable for a carbon-neutral economy. However, the high prices of EVs have prevented most drivers from making the switch from fossil-fuel vehicles to electric cars. Most countries’ electric grids don’t have the capacity to power massive EV fleets, and many experts say the world’s supply of EV battery metals may not be able to support mass electric-vehicle adoption.

Electric-vehicle demand has also fallen in recent months. Many automakers are now cutting back on their previously ambitious electrification plans because of falling prices and low demand. Industry actors, such as Cenntro Electric Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CENN), are now probably engaged in seeking ways to make more sales amid high interest rates and falling demand.

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