Toyota to spend $35bn on electric push in effort to take on Tesla – by Eri Sugiura and Leo Lewis (Financial Times – December 14, 2021)

Toyota said it will pour $35bn into a shift towards electric vehicles as the world’s biggest carmaker sets itself up for direct rivalry with Tesla and joins other groups in a push for carbon neutrality.

It marks a major increase in its electric targets as it aims to sell 3.5m battery-powered vehicles annually by 2030, with the launch of 30 EV models by then in a line-up including sports cars and commercial vehicles.

The company has in the past argued that a longer-term fix for global warming should be a mix of hybrids, EVs and hydrogen-powered vehicles instead of a single bet on battery-powered cars.

But this focus has worried investors, who fear the group is dragging its feet on its electric plan, particularly as the technology has driven Tesla’s stratospheric rise in market value. “I wasn’t interested in Toyota’s EVs until now. But now I’m interested in future EVs,” said Toyota president Akio Toyoda in a press conference.

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