Toyota says it won’t abandon the internal combustion engine for the sake of change as it puts its efforts into a diverse strategy to better accommodate the needs of global markets.

    This strategy will see Toyota introduce more electric vehicles (EVs), but also offer hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles (FCEVs) and cars running on synthetic fuels.

    With some carmakers seemingly claiming a full shift to electrification without any hope for the internal combustion engine sticking around, Toyota is staying resolute in its belief that not all markets suit full electrification, suggesting that hybrids are better for the environment in countries like Australia than full EVs.

    Speaking to Australian media on the eve of the Tokyo motor show, Toyota Australia vice president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley said that a full-scale shift to electrification is not viable or feasible just on the sheer material requirements alone.

    “We know it will take many years before we have enough battery material and renewable energy to support mass adoption of BEVs,” Mr Hanley said.

    “While we work to address those challenges, Toyota’s global approach is that there are other workable paths that ensure no-one is left behind on the journey to decarbonisation.”

    Toyota says that it takes the same amount of battery material to make one full battery electric vehicle as it does to make 90 hybrids or six plug-in hybrids, suggesting that EV adaptation at a global scale is currently not realistic. This has seen the brand continue its efforts for alternative powertrain options.

    “We will therefore maintain our global strategy of deploying as many technologies as possible, blending BEVs with hybrids and other technologies, including fuel cells, hydrogen injection and carbon-neutral fuels,” said Mr Hanley.

    “This diversity of technologies is Toyota’s strength.”

    Toyota has become a global leader in shifting buyers into electrified vehicles with its huge range of hybrids, which make up around 30 per cent of all sales in Australia alone. Nonetheless, it has lagged the majority of automakers in bringing full electric vehicles to market.

    The Toyota bZ4X will arrive in February next year and be the first of 10 full electric Toyota vehicles the brand expects to launch by 2026.

    Alborz Fallah

    Alborz is the founder of CarAdvice (sold to Nine and now Drive) and co-founder of CarExpert. He is an honourary adjunct professor & entrepreneur in residence at the University of QLD. He loves naturally-aspirated V8s, V10s and V12s and is in denial about the impending death of the internal combustion engine. The best way to reach him is via Instagram.

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