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Toyota predicts most of its vehicles will still use gas in 2030

Toyota predicts most of its vehicles will still use gas in 2030
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Toyota on Wednesday predicted that most of its U.S. vehicles would still use gasoline in 2030, though the company signaled a commitment to developing hybrid and electric vehicles.

The automaker made the assessment due to its belief that electric vehicles will not have caught up in terms of cost and convenience by 2030, The Wall Street Journal reports. This announcement is a departure from what many of Toyota’s competitors — Honda, Volvo and General Motors — have recently said, setting goals for all-electric fleets within the next decade or so.

“If you take a snapshot of 2030, the price of battery EVs and the provision of infrastructure around the globe probably won’t have advanced all that much,” Toyota executive Jun Nagata said during a news conference. “Hybrids and plug-in hybrids will be easier for customers to buy.”

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The Journal notes that Toyota leaders have argued their customers don’t necessarily want all-electric vehicles and that such cars are not inherently better for the environment, pointing to carbon emissions linked to electricity production and materials like cobalt and lithium used in the manufacturing of batteries.

“The goal is not electric vehicles, the goal is carbon neutrality, and even if we have the best technology, if it’s not chosen by customers, it will not have the impact of reducing emissions,” Toyota’s chief digital officer, James Kuffner, said. He added, however, that the company was “strongly positioned to lead the world in the best reliable low-cost battery-electric vehicles.”

Toyota has lagged behind its competitors when it comes to introducing electric vehicles, the Journal notes, but it still has the financial means to speed up development should it pursue further electric vehicle production.