Toyota 2023: Electric Cars Just 0.92% of Record Sales

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Toyota 2023: Electric Cars Just 0.92% of Record Sales

Despite criticisms of Toyota’s delayed entry into the electric vehicle (EV) market, the company’s sales in 2023 tell a story of continued success. Toyota retained its top sales position for the fourth consecutive year, achieving an unprecedented high in total deliveries.

Of the 11,233,039 vehicles sold by Toyota and its subsidiaries, only a small fraction were electric, with 104,018 units being battery electric vehicles (BEVs). This represents a significant 325.2% increase from the previous year, but the overall percentage of EVs in total sales was just 0.926%. While Toyota is expanding its “Beyond Zero” (bZ) electric lineup, the company still predicts that battery EVs will constitute only a minor portion of its sales, projecting them to make up about 30% of total sales even with a more diverse range of electric options.

Toyota remains committed to the future of the combustion engine, even as the automotive industry focuses on reducing CO2 emissions. The company is exploring alternative fuels, as seen with its experimental versions of the GR Yaris and GR Corolla. These prototypes feature a turbocharged 1.6-liter, three-cylinder engine adapted to run on hydrogen. Additionally, Toyota is considering synthetic fuels as another potential lifeline for internal combustion engines (ICE).

Alongside these innovations, Toyota isn’t abandoning hydrogen technology. It’s planning to release an all-new Nexo equipped with a next-generation fuel cell in 2025.

Despite the rapid success of Tesla, particularly with the Model Y becoming 2023’s best-selling vehicle globally, Toyota has time to enhance its electric vehicle (EV) offerings. With rumors suggesting the European Union might postpone its ban on emission-generating cars beyond 2035, Toyota could face less immediate pressure. In the meantime, the company continues to excel at what it does best – selling millions of cars, including a wide array of hybrid models.

Some might argue that Toyota is beating a dead horse with hydrogen cars. Indeed, that might end up being a money pit. However, the automotive juggernaut has the budget to afford to throw things at the wall and see what sticks. The goal is to reach carbon neutrality across a car’s entire life cycle by 2050. That means net zero carbon emissions across operations, manufacturing, logistics, use, and recycling of a vehicle.

The Volkswagen Group, Toyota’s main rival, once again had to settle for second place in 2023 when total deliveries rose by 12 percent to 9.24 million. However, the German automotive conglomerate sold far more EVs in the last 12 months than Toyota as shipments of zero-emission vehicles reached approximately 770,000 units, up by 35 percent YoY. The share of electric cars climbed to 8.3 percent, an increase of 1.4 percent from the year before.

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