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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

Toyota NA VP: "As much as you want to talk about EVs, the marketplace isn't mature enough"

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At a recent virtual event with journalists, Toyota Motor North America Executive Vice President Jack Hollis said that the market for electric vehicles (EVs) might not be as strong as sellers are hoping.

"As much as you want to talk about EVs, the marketplace isn’t mature enough,” Hollis said, according to The Wall Street Journal. “I don’t think the market is ready for what the rhetoric is saying."

Hollis also noted that potential consumers are being dissuaded by high sticker prices and a weak public EV charging infrastructure.

Like other car companies, Toyota has made a move into the expanding EV field. In late 2021, the company promised to manufacture 3.5 million electric vehicles per year by 2030. Despite believing that consumers will eventually embrace EVs, Hollis said that hybrid models are currently a better short-term option for many.

A Consumer Reports survey conducted between January and February received 8,027 responses, revealing that over six in ten Americans have avoided buying an EV due to a lack of accessible charging stations. Nevada, for example, houses 1,484 stations, according to PlugShare.

Fifty-five percent of respondents stated that they've avoided buying an EV due to the vehicles' limited travel range on a single change. According to the University of California Davis EV Research Center, current electric vehicles can travel an average of 250 miles on one charge. Sixty-three percent of respondents also said that they would not currently purchase an EV, and 58% who were concerned about cost-related factors said that the high purchase price of an EV is keeping them from buying one.

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 was signed into law by President Joe Biden in August following its support from every Democrat in the Senate including Sen. Cortez Masto. The Act extends a $7,500 tax credit toward buyers of new EVs, although the credit has "price and income restrictions," according to CNBC. Sedans, for example, would need to be sold by manufacturers at a price below $55,000 to be eligible. For SUVs, trucks and vans, the price cap is $80,000.

Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) is an advocate for the transition toward EVs. In February, she sent a letter to the Secretaries of Transportation and Energy urging them to prioritize the implementation of provisions she secured in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to support EVs. In the letter, she specifically calls on the Biden administration to implement an Electric Vehicle Working Group to coordinate the federal government’s efforts to expand the EV market.

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