Is Toyota’s 30% Electric Vehicle Penetration Rate by 2030 Crazy or Genius?

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Akio Toyota, CEO of Toyota, has shared his projections for the market share of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in the foreseeable future. He predicts that BEVs will reach a 30% share, which is expected to happen around 2030. This is in line with Toyota’s EV ramp-up plans.

In comparison, other forecasts suggest that BEVs will account for 75% of new car sales and 44% of passenger vehicles on the road by 2040. However, Toyota’s projection is significantly lower, with the CEO stating that the remaining market share will be taken up by hybrids, hydrogen fuel cell, and fuel burning cars.

Toyota’s total car production in 2024 is estimated to be 11 million vehicles, with a projection of 3.5 million EVs sold in 2030, which is over 30% of their estimated volume. Of these, 1 million will be from Lexus alone, which aims to be fully battery electric by 2030.

The chairman of Toyota, Akio Toyota, emphasized that customers, not regulations or politics, should make the decision on electric uptake. He also stated that engines will surely remain, as renewable fuels or eco-friendly fuels can be used in internal combustion engines in the future.

Toyota is also saving money by assembling battery packs in-house in North America and Japan, where they will customize the battery packs for the output needed. This allows for greater flexibility and cost savings compared to buying batteries as an assembly unit from the factory.

Panasonic, a battery manufacturer, is in “do or die” mode, as they are at risk of losing their top four position in the world. They are trying to find a third plant in North America to provide 200 GWh of batteries in the near future, but they can’t commit to it without having contracts with potential automakers.

Exciting developments in battery technology include the use of silicon anodes, which can provide 500 miles on a 10-minute charge and produce up to 70% less carbon pollution per kilowatt hour during production. However, silicon anodes can swell up to four times its original size during battery operation, leading to malfunctions. New nano composite tech is being used to reduce swelling.

Toyota has a long way to go before they hit 3.5 million EVs by 2030, but after that, they may plateau off depending on the market value and need for battery electric vehicles around the world. Overall, Toyota’s multi-prong approach is a good business strategy to provide multiple products and choices for customers.