After years of resisting fully electric vehicles, Toyota announced on wednesday plans to introduce its first all-electric vehicles to the mass market in the United States later this year.
In a statement, Toyota said that the three new models will include two battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). The company, which as of 2020 was the world’s best-selling automaker, also touted the ecological impact of new vehicles, citing its belief that the “fastest way to reduce greenhouse gases in the transportation sector is to offer drivers less carbon options that meet their needs. “
“We continue to be a leader in electrification that began with our pioneering introduction of the Prius nearly 25 years ago,” Bob Carter, executive vice president of sales for Toyota North America, said in the statement. “Toyota’s new electrified product offerings will provide customers with multiple powertrain options that best suit their needs.”
While Toyota has long been one of the world’s pioneers of hybrid vehicles, especially for the Prius, which debuted in Japan in 1997, has long resisted going all-electric.
In Wednesday’s statement, the company defended its past decision to avoid fully electric vehicles, stating that its internal investigation had initially found that the total greenhouse gas emissions from fully electric and hybrid vehicles were “roughly the same. by taking into account pollutants created by electricity production for the average US power grid used to charge batteries. “
But the company’s decision to finally go all-electric, coupled with General Motors’ recent announcement that it plans to launch 30 new global electric vehicles by 2025, is a good sign of where the wind blows these days.