Toyota has decided that there is little future for electric cars and has reigned in its plans to build battery electric vehicles.
When you think of hybrid cars, you think of Toyota. But Toyota didn’t want to be left behind if battery electric cars strike a chord with buyers, so they were planning an extensive roll-out of the iQ EV – the Toyota eQ.
But Toyota’s vice chairman, Takeshi Uchiyamada, has now made it clear that Toyota feel there is no real future for the electric car, certainly with the state of currently available technology.
That means that the new electric eQ will now only be sold as a very limited release in the US and Japan and that, apart from the RAV4 EV – which Toyota has built in partnership with Tesla – there will be no more Toyota electric cars.
Toyota are even bemoaning the poor sales of the plug-in Prius – which has only sold 20 per cent of target in Japan – and aim to concentrate on hybrid cars.
Takeshi Uchiyamada said:
The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society’s needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge.
Which is actually not far off what Toyota’s head of R&D in Europe – Masato Katsumata – said in a speech in 2009 when he said that “the electric vehicle won’t be a mass-market phenomenon, and that the future – at least in the coming decades – will be petrol engine hybrids”.
So, with Toyota effectively out of the electric car game in any meaningful way – and with more practical solutions to the oil and CO2 question like Audi developing intelligent hybrids and synthetic fuels – we ask again: Why would anyone want an electric car?