Many car companies are hopping onto the electric vehicle (EV) bandwagon, seemingly without a second thought. Whether it’s because they genuinely want their cars to be better for the environment or just want to appeal to those who love EVs, it’s hard to find a car manufacturer who isn’t making EVs.

That being said, there’s one notable car manufacturer who falls into that category- Toyota.

The popular Japan-based car company has yet to contribute to the EV space. Granted, they’ve made plenty gas-electric hybrid versions of existing models- from the Prius to the Corolla- to show their support of green initiatives.

Still, Toyota has yet to make a move in making EVs. It also doesn’t look as though that will change anytime soon

But perhaps there’s a reason for it.

At the 2019 Geneva auto show in Switzerland, Toyota’s Vice-President of research and development in Europe, Gerald Killmann, explained why the company won’t make EVs. The reason is all about battery production capacity; or rather, a lack of it. Toyota is not limited in their battery production, although it’s significantly lower than, say, EV powerhouse Tesla. Instead, the former is allocating their battery production elsewhere- specifically, their hybrids.

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Killmann went on to explain that their battery production could go towards the manufacturing of about 28 000 EVs per year. Alternately, it could be put towards building 1.5 million hybrids. The dramatic difference is not nothing; making so many hybrids reduces carbon emissions a third more than just 28 000 EVs. The environmental impact of 1.5 million hybrids is clearly better than the few EVs they could make. Plus, vehicle prices can stay at a reasonable rate.

There’s more to it than that, though. The batteries in Toyota hybrids are often comprised of nickel-metal hydride battery (NiMH) chemistry. They’re cheaper than their lithium-ion counterparts, but that’s not all. Their susceptibility to memory-related degradation aren’d drastic, meaning that they’re less of an issue.

 

For those itching to purchase an EV from Toyota, it looks as though such a dream will never ever happen. Killmann’s explanation for why the company prefers hybrids over EVs may create plenty of disagreement, but it could also create admiration from potential customers.

But who knows? Perhaps one day down the road, Toyota will change their mind and build the best EV the world has ever seen before. They have the capabilities of doing it, so it’s not a stretch.

Source: Car and Driver

 

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