Toyota pushes back at electrification critics

STORY: Toyota has pushed back against critics who say it's not driving quick enough towards electrification.

At Wednesday's (June 15) annual general meeting, the Japanese carmaker argued it needed to offer choices to suit different markets and customers.

The world’s largest automaker said it would stick with technologies like fuel cell vehicles and hybrids.

Toyota has long argued that hybrids still make sense in markets where the infrastructure isn’t ready for a faster move towards battery electric vehicles.

The firm was once a favourite of environmentalists, thanks to the popularity of its hybrid Prius model.

But some investors have now attacked Toyota for not phasing out gasoline-powered cars, and being slow to go electric.

Not until last month did it roll out its first mass-produced all-electric vehicle.

Last year, the company committed to spend $60 billion by 2030 to electrify its cars - half of which will go on fully electric vehicles.

Toyota also faced questions on its CEO succession plan at Wednesday’s meet, and on the ongoing chip shortage.

There was no sign that CEO Akio Toyoda planned to step down after many years in charge.

The company also said it expected the chip shortage to continue, although it believed there were signs of improvement.

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