Climate change

“Not everyone should drive a battery electric vehicle to fight climate change”

According to the chief scientist of Toyota Motor Corp

In this file photo, Gill Pratt, CEO of the Toyota Research Institute (TRI), speaks next to a research vehicle equipped with Toyota Guardian, an accident avoidance system that helps drivers, during a Toyota press conference at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada, US. Photo: Reuters / Steve Marcus / Files

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In this file photo, Gill Pratt, CEO of the Toyota Research Institute (TRI), speaks next to a research vehicle equipped with Toyota Guardian, an accident avoidance system that helps drivers, during a Toyota press conference at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada, US. Photo: Reuters / Steve Marcus / Files

Many people are passionate about climate change, but not everyone should drive a battery-electric vehicle to fight climate change, Toyota Motor Corp chief scientist Gill Pratt told Reuters Events Automotive on Thursday. Summit.

Pratt’s comments, during a discussion of electric vehicles, seemed to amplify remarks made over the past year by Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda.

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Toyota and other company officials said electric vehicles would play a bigger role in reducing emissions, but other solutions should be used, Toyota’s gasoline-electric hybrid models or battery-powered electric vehicles. fuel powered by hydrogen.

At Thursday’s conference, Pratt said Toyota believes in “transmission diversity” to give customers different tools to reduce CO2 emissions.

“It is not for us to predict which solution is the best or to say that only it will work,” he said.

Government incentives should be aimed at reducing carbon emissions, not choosing which automotive technology is the best way to achieve those goals, added Pratt, with reference to proposals to ban internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. , including hybrid vehicles, as a means of achieving carbon neutrality.

Toyota was among the major automakers who backed the Trump administration in its attempt to prevent California from setting its own zero-emission requirements, but the company dropped that support earlier this year.

Toyota has announced plans to invest $ 13.5 billion by 2030 in electric vehicle batteries, but so far its plans to deploy new battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) appear relatively modest compared to those of US automakers General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co, which are spending around $ 30 billion each through 2025 to electrify more of their vehicle lines.

Toyota executives continue to tout the company’s hybrid vehicles, which have been on the market for more than 20 years.


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