Monday, 20 September 2021 22:49

Toyota CEO: Going All-EV Could Cost Japan Millions of Jobs

Written by Dan Mihalascu, Inside EVs
Akio Toyoda presides over the Sept. 9 press conference. Akio Toyoda presides over the Sept. 9 press conference.


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Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda, who is also chairman of Japan’s automaker association, is not happy with the Japanese government’s EV-centric push for carbon neutrality.

The executive said going all-EV could cost Japan 5.5 million jobs and 8 million units of lost vehicle output by 2030.


At a regular meeting of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) where he was joined by top execs from Honda, Yamaha and Isuzu, Toyoda warned the potentially overzealous green manufacturing goals pushed by Europe-inspired Japanese authorities are unsustainable.


The government aims to slash Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and reach net carbon neutrality by 2050 by going all-EV. However, Toyota’s CEO believes the road map should take into account the reality that Japan’s economic lifeblood stems from manufacturing.


A sudden shift to EVs could undercut Japan’s industrial base, Toyoda argued, so he proposes a wider approach to carbon reduction instead.


"Japan is an export-reliant country. Thus, carbon neutrality is tantamount to an issue of employment for Japan," Toyoda said. "Some politicians are saying that we need to turn all cars into EVs or that the manufacturing industry is an outmoded one. But I don't think that is the case. To protect the jobs and lives of Japanese people, I think it is necessary to bring our future in line with our efforts so far.”


The executive noted Japanese automakers produce about 10 million vehicles a year at home, about half of which are exported. He cited forecasts projecting that by 2030, domestic plants will still be making 8 million vehicles a year equipped with combustion engines, including hybrids and plug-in hybrids. 


Once those vehicles are banned, automakers will take a big hit, Toyoda said, leaving companies with a tough decision: either send production of such vehicles overseas or end it entirely.


"This means that production of more than 8 million units would be lost, and the automotive industry could risk losing...

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