Toyota and Honda hold back while the rest of Japan automakers go Electric

Toyota and Honda hold back while the rest of Japan automakers go Electric

Japan is undergoing a growth in the electric vehicle market with major manufacturers such as Nissan, Mitsubishi and Subaru hopping on the EV train, after small independents built low speed, short range Neighbourhood Electric Vehicles, also known as NEVs. The lithium-ion powered Nissan Leaf EV, planned to be launched on the U.S. market on the 11th of December and featuring an effective EPA fuel economy rating of 99mpg and a range of 117 km, enjoys a lot of popularity as it has 6,000 orders in Japan and 20,000 in the United States, an impressive number which determined the Japanese automaker not to accept orders anymore. Of course, it comes as no surprise that Nissan Chief Operating Office Toshiyuki Shiga is happy with the result, recently stating that this is the beginning of a whole new era in the world’s automobile industry together with a sustainable low-carbon society. 2012 brings Toyota and Honda planning similar vehicles. An automotive analyst for Japan’s SMBC Friend Research Center, called Shigeru Matsumura, and considers that the high price of EVs and the lack of recharging infrastructure represent the biggest hurdles to profitability currently faced by the automaker. Many consumers and automakers are complaining about the lengthy recharge times and limited range, with which Toyota and Honda agree as both companies keep their focus on hybrids and fuel cell vehicles until EVs have a greater presence on the market. However, Matsumura considers that is necessary for Toyota and Honda to join the party so that the market could flourish. This scenario aims to bring down high EV prices and help EVs become more common at the same time. Toyota’s Executive Vice President Takeshi Uchiyamada considers that the EVs are not likely to spread fast.


Toyota and Honda hold back while the rest of Japan automakers go Electric image Toyota and Honda hold back while the rest of Japan automakers go Electric image