- Mar 11, 2021
Japan automakers race to catch up with global EV competitorsthat actually is a good idea. Sort of similar to driving on right vs left and altering electrical outlets. Protectionism leading to jobs by using different energy sources and storage methods.
The Japanese can live with their new Indian allies. They both can enjoy riding around on Japanese HSR in Japan and on hydrogen buses in India. Japanese girl on Youtube said she loved India and Indians.
Chinese can live with their new Pakistani and African allies. They can ride around in EV cars in the poor nations (will need to build working electrical grids) and HSR in China.
Jobs and industry for everyone.
A worker cleans a Toyota Electric Vehicle bZ4X on display during the Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show in Tangerang, near Jakarta, Indonesia, last week. | REUTERS
Aug 17, 2023
Major Japanese automakers are stepping up efforts to accelerate the development of electric vehicles, in a bid to catch up in the global market.
There is a sense of crisis over a possible decline of the Japanese automobile industry if U.S., European and Chinese automakers continue to dominate the EV market.
Technological innovation in areas such as batteries is seen as key to raising the brand value of Japanese EVs to the level of Japanese gasoline-powered cars.
"We are firmly committed to making attractive EVs," Toyota President Koji Sato has said.
In April, Toyota announced a new target of releasing 10 EV models and selling 1.5 million units annually by 2026. The firm has also strengthened its organizational structure.
According to research firm Marklines Co., U.S.-based Tesla led the global EV industry in 2022, with sales of 1,268,000 units. China's BYD came in second, followed by other U.S., European and Chinese automakers.
The Toyota group, which includes Daihatsu Motor and Hino Motors, sold only 20,000 units, or a market share of just 0.3%.
With a full-fledged EV era looming as the world transitions to a carbon-free society, Toyota faces the urgent task of boosting its competitiveness through technological innovation in fields such as batteries.
Other Japanese automakers are also rising to the challenge. Honda Motor aims for all of its vehicles sold worldwide to be EVs and hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles by 2040. Subaru plans to offer eight EV models in the next five years and to start EV production in the United States.
Nissan Motor, which launched the world's first mass-produced EV, the Leaf, in 2010, will announce a new strategy this autumn.
At a news conference in July, Nissan President Makoto Uchida said that his company will "strengthen the product lineup and enhance competitiveness." The automaker also decided to invest up to €600 million in a new EV company founded by its French alliance partner, Renault SA.
Nonetheless, tapping into the U.S. and Chinese markets is seen to be difficult for Japanese carmakers.
To qualify for tax breaks in the United States, automakers must procure batteries locally in addition to manufacturing vehicles in the country.
In China, there is intense competition for technologies such as autonomous driving and voice recognition, in addition to the race for electrification.
As there are limits on in-house development of such technologies, foreign automakers are partnering with information technology and other companies.
"The speed of change is much faster than expected," a senior executive at a major Japanese automaker said.
"(Japanese automakers) can't compete by focusing only on fuel efficiency and durability," said Takaki Nakanishi, chief analyst at Nakanishi Research Institute. "They need to promote not only electrification but also digitalization and software development, and improve the commercial value of vehicles."