Frustrated Toyota boss LOSES it on ‘electric car extremists’ in rare interview after company finished last in an environmental report
- Toyota Marketing Chief Sean Hanley gave a speech in Sydney this week
- At the end of the presentation he was asked about electric vehicles
- In a rare frustrated tirade, he targeted critics of Toyota’s hybrid technologies
One of Toyota Australia’s top executives has unleashed on “electric car extremists” in a rare speech, arguing their tunnel vision risks other useful technologies being ignored.
Toyota Sales and Marketing Chief Sean Hanley grumbled as he wrapped up his carefully written presentation for the Australian debut of the new Toyota Corolla Cross hybrid SUV in Sydney this week.
Mr Hanley was asked about the company’s position on electric vehicles following recent criticism, including a report by Greenpeace East Asia that claimed the company was at the forefront of the global group in terms of green credentials.
“We are fully behind some mandatory legislation (reduction of emissions). The only thing everyone agrees on is that we need to get to a carbon neutral position,” Hanley told the crowd, reports drive.com.au.
Toyota Australia’s marketing chief lashed out at electric car fanatics (stock image)
“Toyota doesn’t deny that. This isn’t a debate. Even with the most extreme point of view, we agree that you need to go carbon neutral. What we don’t agree on is … how and when to get there.’
A second report this year by Greenpeace Australia Pacific claimed that Toyota was campaigning against environmental action in favor of its hybrid fossil fuel system.
Mr Hanley argued that in order to achieve net-zero emissions, every motorist needs to be on board and that the current market demands more options than just battery electric vehicles.
He said that by 2030 every Toyota would have some form of electrification, but there would be other options in addition to purely battery-powered cars — including hybrid-electric, fuel-cell-electric and plug-in hybrid models — that would also be from Meaning cleaner for the environment.
“Carbon is the enemy, not the powertrain … the belief that in this country in 10 years you can drive fully electric and satisfy [customers] is a very difficult matter,” he said.
He argued Toyota sold the hybrid-electric Prius (pictured) in Australia years before electric cars were “trendy”.
Continuing the tirade, Mr Hanley said Toyota had not lagged behind or prevented electric vehicles and pointed to several examples including a hydrogen-powered bus the company had developed.
A frustrated Mr Hanley said Toyota had been selling hybrid electric cars and contributing to reduced emissions in Australia since 2001, years before anyone else, but that they had suddenly become fashionable.
In 2021, Australia recorded 20,665 electric vehicle sales, a significant increase from the 6,900 sold the year before.
More than half of this was accounted for by the Tesla Model 3 with a market share of 58.5 percent.