Despite being a longtime electric-car skeptic, Toyota is finally leaving the door open for full-electric vehicles to join its lineup in the near future.
According to a company executive, the Japanese automaker has to consider introducing electric vehicles to markets where regulations mandate them or where the infrastructure is best suited for them.
“EVs do have many challenges,” said Executive VP Takahiko Ijichi. “But different countries and regions have different energy policies, and depending on infrastructure availability, we would like to have a structure that allows us to consider the introduction of EVs.”
Previously, Toyota were against the idea of pure electric vehicles due to their high costs, limited driving range and lengthy recharging times – things which have started to change recently in the industry.
Still, the automaker is far from ready to give up their position on hydrogen fuel cells, as reported by Autonews.
“If you ask the question – What is the ultimate environmentally friendly vehicle? – we’ll say it will be fuel cell vehicles. And our idea has not changed,” added Ijichi, before admitting that as one of the biggest automakers in the world, Toyota must cover all alternative drivetrains, which include battery-powered electric vehicles.
These comments came shortly after a Japanese newspaper reported that Toyota was planning to jump into mass producing long-range EVs by the year 2020, cars that will be able to cruise more than 300 km (186 miles) on a single charge.