Detroit — Toyota is asking U.S. lawmakers for "technology-inclusive" policies that will support a variety of vehicle powertrains — not just battery-electric — while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to testimony submitted March 16 to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
"We agree that BEVs are an important part of the answer — but they're not the only answer," Robert Wimmer, director of energy and environmental research at Toyota Motor North America, said in written remarks.
While competitors such as Volkswagen Group and General Motors plan to go big on battery-electric vehicles, the Japanese auto maker said alternatives such as plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles must be included in "the pursuit of lower carbon," as consumer needs vary greatly.
"This diversity in requirements is exactly why OEMs offer a wide variety of vehicle types, styles and powertrains. It's also precisely why multiple electrification pathways are needed to reduce carbon emissions," Wimmer said. "If we tie our horse to a single approach, many consumers will simply opt for an internal combustion vehicle."
Toyota also is calling for consumer purchase incentives to promote all electrified vehicles — a policy it said would have "the greatest immediate impact on sales."
The auto maker said "robust incentives" for infrastructure development and fuel production also are needed to speed the deployment of EV chargers and hydrogen fueling stations.
"Last year, less than 2 percent of the vehicles sold in America were battery electric," Wimmer said. "If we are to make dramatic progress in electrification, it will require overcoming tremendous challenges, including refueling infrastructure, battery availability, consumer acceptance and affordability and the reliability of the electric grid."
Ford Motor. Co's Jonathan Jennings, vice president of global commodity purchasing and supplier technical assistance, spoke at a Senate hearing Tuesday on incentivizing manufacturing in U.S.
In written testimony submitted to the Senate Committee on Finance, Jennings asked Congress and the Biden administration to support "market-based consumer and manufacturing incentives, innovative new technologies, labor and plant transitions and supply chain security."
The Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker said it supports legislation introduced by Democratic Sens. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Joe Manchin of West Virginia to incentivize clean-energy manufacturing. Ford also backs a proposal by President Biden that would provide a 10 percent advanceable tax credit for companies creating U.S. manufacturing jobs and supports increasing R&D incentives for EVs and related battery development.
"The semiconductor situation underscores our supply chain risk. There are dangerous parallels to the way electric vehicle batteries are sourced and developed," Jennings said. "In short, we must do more to protect the future of manufacturing in America."
Ford CEO Jim Farley last month called on the U.S. government to support large-scale battery production in the U.S. and develop charging infrastructure to drive demand for electric vehicles.
The auto maker said it plans to spend $22 billion on EVs through 2025, with a majority dedicated to battery-electric models.