Toyota sees good prospects for e-vehicles in Asia Pacific

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - October 26, 2019 - 12:00am

TOKYO, Japan – Japanese car giant Toyota Motor Corp. sees good prospects for electric vehicles in Asia amid warm reception for its hybrid models.

“Some might think it’s premature to think about vehicle electrification in Asia, but that is not the case,” Toyota Motor Asia Pacific vice president David Nordstrom said, noting the market’s acceptance for hybrid vehicles.

He said in Thailand, almost 40 percent of the C-HR crossover sold are hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), while close to 70 percent of the Camry sold are HEVs.

He said consumer enthusiasm and sales for the newly launched hybrid electric Corolla sedan has also exceeded Toyota’s expectations, showing hybrid technology is a powerful solution as the world moves to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Making a more positive impact, however, would entail widespread use of these environment-friendly vehicles.

As HEVs are self-charging, Nordstrom said they do not require any special infrastructure, making HEVs an immediate positive contributor in environment protection for any market.

“Having said that, we do understand that the speed of adoption and popularization of electrified vehicles such as HEVs depend on many factors such as environmental and economic reasons affecting consumer demand,” he said.

Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. (TMPC) first vice president Rommel Gutierrez said there are still challenges in HEV adoption in the Philippines with not much awareness on its benefits.

Adoption of HEVs in the country has also been slow, with consumers seeing the price as expensive.

As part of efforts to promote the shift to environment-friendly hybrid vehicles, TMPC launched last September the Corolla Altis with a hybrid variant.

With the hybrid Corolla Altis being made available in the Philippine market for the first time, TMPC has set a monthly sales target of 14 to 20 units for that variant.

TMPC assistant vice president Elijah Sue Marcial said the company has sold 13 units of the Corolla Altis hybrid variant since its launch.

Earlier, TMPC president Satoru Suzuki said government support for hybrid vehicles similar to what would be extended to EVs would help bring down its price.

The Department of Trade and Industry is coming up with an incentives package for EVs.

Trade Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba has said the incentives package would be finalized within the year.

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