Toyota’s chief engineer says that electric powertrains have developed to the point where it is now cheaper to build low-range electric cars than it is to produced hybrids.
According to Satoshi Ogiso, who recently spoke to Forbes, the future of automobiles will be purely electric powertrains but that for the moment, those with acceptable ranges will remain more expensive than hybrids until 2025.
“The cost of pure electric depends very much on range. Up to 250km (155 mile) range, battery-electric vehicles already can be built for less money than hybrids.
“However, the market generally wants more range. With a range above 300km (186 mile) a battery-electric vehicle will remain more expensive at least through 2025,” Ogiso confirmed.
In the coming 10 to 20 years, Toyota expects that between 50 per cent and 60 per cent of its models will be hybrids or fuel cells while upwards of 30 per cent will be fully electric. However, it is going to take quite some time for EVs to dominate the market with company predictions asserting that by 2050, 90 per cent of new vehicles will be electric.
Beyond the future of electric powertrains, Ogiso also revealed that the Japanese marque is able to produce a hybrid car with an automatic transmission for the same price that it can create a diesel-powered model. As automakers are forced to comply with stricter diesel emissions targets post-dieselgate, hybrids for Toyota will soon become cheaper, effectively killing off its diesel-powered models.