White House comes to the defense of Toyota EV strategy

A U.S. White House official has come to the defense of Toyota regarding its new EV strategy, pioneered by the automaker’s fresh-faced CEO.

As noted by a White House official in a recent interview with Reuters, Toyota “has been the laggard” of the automotive industry regarding electric vehicles. But with the Biden Administration now putting its foot on the gas regarding EV adoption, even introducing new, more aggressive electrification targets, the Japanese automaker has changed its course, largely thanks to its new CEO, Koji Sato. According to the same White House official, Toyota is now “fully committed” to electrification.

The White House official interviewed by Reuters, John Podesta, recently met with Toyota officials regarding their electrification plans and how that could change their U.S.-based manufacturing presence. According to the interview, Toyota is now reinvigorated to pursue pure EVs, especially as demand for them continues to swell in North America and other key markets.

Besides the growth in demand for EVs, and the aforementioned regulatory crackdown on ICE vehicles, Toyota, in particular, is seeing the transition come at the expense of its bottom line. Recently released data has shown that Toyota customers are the most likely to jump ship and trade for an EV. Unfortunately for both Toyota and those customers who might otherwise consider staying with the Japanese auto giant, the brand’s EV offerings are slim to none.

Luckily, according to Toyota CEO Koji Sato, this situation is about to change, with the company planning to introduce 10 EVs globally by 2026. Moreover, Toyota aims for an annual production capacity of 1.5 million EVs by then.

With the cost of electrification becoming ever more apparent to traditional automakers, it remains unclear how this upcoming rapid change will impact Toyota’s earnings. And according to the metrics given by the company, its electrification will be rapid. As of last year, the first year it sold EVs since its partnership with Tesla, the company only produced ~25,000 units globally. Hence, reaching its 1.5 million EV milestone will require a 60x growth in under three years.

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