After pioneering the world of hybrid electric and gasoline vehicles, Toyota
Already, electric vehicles make up more than 10% of new car sales in Europe, and the American infrastructure plan introduced by President Joe Biden is expected to boost sales in that country, as well. Investment and incentives from governments around the world have pushed the growth of the electric vehicle market into high gear, faster than manufacturers expected.
Ford's F-Series trucks, including the F-150, are the top-selling vehicles in the U.S., bringing in profits equal to more than double McDonald's
"The F-150 will put electric vehicles in a totally different realm," Gartner analyst Michael Ramsey said. "It's huge for Ford, but also huge for the whole industry. If you're going to electrify the whole vehicle fleet in the United States, the F-150 going electric is a big step in that direction."
Ford and other major companies may have a head start, but Toyota, the largest carmaker in the world, has now aggressively begun its foray into the electric vehicle market.
The Japanese carmaker announced on Tuesday that one of its Japan-based factories will soon begin to manufacture the bZ4X, a sports utility vehicle developed with Subaru. The electric vehicle will hit the market early next year, according to Toyota Motors President Akio Toyoda.
Along with the overall goal of one-third of sales, Toyota hopes to switch its Lexus brand to only electric vehicles, to introduce a total of 30 electric vehicles across all brands, and to sell 3.5 million electric vehicles by the end of the decade.
Previously, the company stated that it planned to introduce 15 eclectic vehicles by 2025. The company made a prior commitment to spending $13.6 billion (1.5 trillion yen) on electric vehicle technology; the recent promise bumped that commitment up to $17.6 billion (2 trillion yen).
"It is not us but local markets and our customers who decide which options to choose," Toyoda said.
President Toyoda has received criticism in the past from environmentalists due to Toyota's resistance to adopting electric vehicles. Toyoda himself described the trend towards electric vehicles as "overhyped, specifically pointing to the carbon emissions produced by power plants. Power plant emissions are also frequently used as a defense of the oil and gas industry.
On Tuesday, standing in front of dozens of Toyota concept electric vehicles, Toyoda seemed to undergo a complete reversal of his previously held position on electrifying cars.
"I believe that achieving carbon neutrality means realizing a world in which all people living on this planet continue to live happily," said Toyoda. "We want to help realize such a world. This has been and will continue to be Toyota's wish and our mission as a global company. For that challenge, we need to reduce CO2 emissions as much as possible, as soon as possible."