BURIRAM, Thailand — Toyota Motor Corp.
President Akio Toyoda said he is among the auto industry’s silent majority in questioning whether electric vehicles should be pursued exclusively, comments that reflect a growing uneasiness about how quickly car companies can transition. Auto makers are making big bets on fully electric vehicles, investments that have been bolstered by robust demand for the limited numbers of models that are now available.
Still, challenges are mounting — particularly in securing parts and raw materials for batteries — and concerns have emerged in some pockets of the car business about the speed to which buyers will make the shift, especially as EV prices have soared this year. “People involved in the auto industry are largely a silent majority,” Toyoda said to reporters during a visit to Thailand. “That silent majority is wondering whether EVs are really OK to have as a single option. But they think it’s the trend so they can’t speak out loudly.” While major rivals, including General Motors Co.
and Honda Motor Co.
have set dates for when their lineups will be all-EV, Toyota has stuck to a strategy of investing in a diverse lineup of vehicles that includes hydrogen-powered cars and hybrids, which combine batteries with gas engines. An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com. Also popular on WSJ.com: Why this housing downturn isn’t like the last one. Individual investors hang on in wild year for stocks while pros sell.