Japanese car brand Toyota has been criticized worldwide for its slow entry into the electric car race and is predicted to lag behind its competitors. However, its car sales in 2023 have proven its right direction.
Specifically, in 2023, Toyota continues to hold the top spot in annual sales for the 4th consecutive year, with the highest number of cars delivered to customers in history. Out of the total 11,233,039 cars sold by Toyota and its subsidiaries, only a few of them are non-combustion engine vehicles.
The number of electric battery-powered vehicles delivered was 104,018. Although this is a 325.2% growth compared to the previous year, the proportion only accounted for 0.926% of Toyota’s total sales.
Despite the upcoming launch of the bZ electric car line, Toyota estimates that battery-powered electric vehicles will still be in the minority. Even when the company announced that it would diversify its product line in the future, electric vehicles are projected to account for only 30% of sales. In an interview with Toyota Times, President Akio Toyoda stated:
“Toyota affirms that internal combustion engines will still exist even as other car manufacturers strive to reduce CO2 emissions. Prototypes of the GR Yaris and GR Corolla have been tested with a modified turbocharged 1.6-liter three-cylinder engine running on hydrogen instead of gasoline.
In addition, the company believes that synthetic fuel can also be the savior of internal combustion engine cars. Meanwhile, they will not abandon hydrogen technology as the all-new Nexo with next-generation fuel cell is confirmed to be launched in 2025.”
Tesla’s remarkable rise certainly worries Toyota, especially when the Model Y became the best-selling vehicle in the world in 2023. However, there is still time for Toyota to take action and develop appealing electric vehicles.
There have been speculations that the ban on emissions from cars issued by the European Union may be postponed after 2035. If that happens, it will ease some of the pressure Toyota is facing. Meanwhile, they are doing what they know best – selling millions of cars with various hybrid engines.
Volkswagen Group, Toyota’s main rival, once again ranked second in 2023 with the total volume of deliveries increasing 12% to 9.24 million vehicles. However, the German automaker has sold more electric vehicles than Toyota in the past 12 months with a shipment of about 770,000 electric cars, increasing 35% compared to the same period last year. The proportion of electric cars rose to 8.3%, up 1.4% from the previous year.
According to InsideEVs