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Published on May 20th, 2023 | by Sounder Rajen


Toyota Chief Scientist Says Forcing EVs Will Only Make People Hold On To ICE Longer

He also believes we won’t have enough batteries for only EVs in the future

Many automakers have already announced when they will stop selling internal combustion engine (ICE) cars soon as a result of electrification, but Toyota is not on that long list. Instead, the Japanese automaker has been vocal about not rushing into electrification as it believes the world just isn’t ready to go fully electric. Do you agree? Let’s review

Totota Prius Hybrid

Toyota Chief Scientist Gill Pratt argues forcing people to buy electric vehicles (EVs) could backfire by making them stick to their gasoline or diesel cars longer and I agree as I personally also think that the more one is forced to do something, the more they would rebel against it.

Moreover, speaking in Hiroshima prior to a G7 summit, Toyota Research Institute’s CEO admitted subsidies make electric vehicles more appealing, but he believes not everyone is eager to jump on the EV bandwagon. His solution? Prolonging the life of the ICE by continuing to develop hybrids and making alternative fuels feasible for mass production. 


Pratt has also expressed his concern about the automotive industry not being ready to exclusively switch to EVs in the foreseeable future. His argument revolved around supply limitations, mainly pertaining to the materials that go into making a battery pack, especially with many automakers still struggling to overcome supply shortages.

Pratt said, “Eventually, resource limitations will end, but for many years we will not have enough battery material and renewable recharging resources for a BEV-only solution. Battery materials and renewable charging infrastructure will eventually be plentiful. But it will take decades for battery material mines, renewable power generation facilities, transmission lines, and seasonal energy storage facilities to scale up.”

EV Battery

While Toyota wants to keep ICE alive, Volkswagen CEO Thomas Schafer referred to petrol engines as “old technology,” and that all the talk about synthetic fuels is nothing more than “unnecessary noise.” Still, not all members of the Volkswagen Group share this opinion since Porsche is investing in the development and production of e-fuels.

On top of that, earlier this week, newly appointed Toyota CEO Koji Sato declared synthetic fuels need to evolve before becoming a viable alternative. He believes mass production will only happen after a significant reduction of the energy used during the production process. The big fish also thinks solid-state batteries need more time to reach maturity since durability continues to pose a “huge challenge.”

Toyota Bz4X EV

While both sides of this argument have merit, I personally think the world will never truly be ready to go fully electric and the finite resources we have can never keep up with our boundless ambition as a species. I truly think going hybrid is the way to go if not to just leave ICE engines as they are to maintain its position in the world.

Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid

We got all this from Motor 1 and their full article is linked here. Thank you Motor 1 for the information and images.

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