Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda has said that he believes battery electric vehicles (BEVs) can only get to 30% market share, with the remainder accounted for by other powertrain types, including combustion engines.

In remarks published on Toyota’s media site he said: “No matter how much progress BEVs make, I think they will still only have a 30% market share. Then, the remaining 70% will be HEVs , FCEVs , and hydrogen engines. And I think [combustion] engine cars will definitely remain.”

He also pointed out the importance of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles: “One billion people around the world live in areas without electricity. In the case of Toyota, we also supply vehicles to these regions, so a single BEV option cannot provide transportation for everyone.”

Akio Toyoda also acknowledged Toyota’s strength in hybrids and the lowering of CO2 they have facilitated in Japan. “What Toyota has that other companies don’t have is HEV (hybrid vehicles),” he said. “Thanks to the introduction of HEVs in Japan 20 to 30 years ago, Japan is the only developed country to have reduced CO2 emissions by 23%.”

He appeared to voice some frustration with the widespread perception of recent years that Toyota’s strength in hybrids has come at the expense of investment in BEVs. “However, no one, mainly the media, is giving us an explanation,” he said. “All I hear is, ‘Toyota is behind in BEVs’.”

He added: “The important thing is not to convert to BEV or FCEV. The enemy is CO2. So, let’s all think about reducing CO2 right away.”

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