Toyota Admits Silent Majority is Nervous About Massive EV Push

BigPixel Photo /
BigPixel Photo /

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard, and possibly even felt the push of going electric. You know, trading in the gas-guzzling machines you’ve grown accustomed to for a quieter, supposedly more environmentally friendly version.

To be sure, you aren’t alone. Hell, even big-time automotive industry leaders are feeling that push. But as one of the biggest in the world has recently admitted, going all EV may not be such a wise decision.

Enter Akio Toyoda, president of the acclaimed Toyota Motor Corp. His company, like every other automaker in the world, has recently been encouraged to drop, or at least limit, production of gas-powered vehicles, as it seems the future of the industry lies in EVs. However, based on his inside knowledge and that of what he calls the silent majority, he’s not sure that doing so will be a good idea in the long run.

Comments from Toyoda were published by The Wall Street Journal on Sunday, admitting as much.

According to him, most auto industry insiders, the “silent majority,” understand that while there is a push for EVs, it’s just not all that practical of a move for the average human being. And that means it’s not, or shouldn’t be, a realistic move for the auto industry either.

But, because of the massive push to go “all-electric,” most are also too scared to really voice that concern.

“People involved in the auto industry are largely a silent majority. That silent majority is wondering whether EVs are really OK to have as a single option. But they think it’s the trend, so they can’t speak out loudly.”

And that last little bit makes all that difference.

Toyoda is admitting that for most people, they know EVs, at least an only EV option, is a bad idea. And yet, because of the current push, the trend heading in that direction, they are too afraid to speak out.

And when we look at the facts, we have to see the truth in his words.

I mean, let’s talk about just a few things we know about EVs.

First of all, they require electricity to run, and a lot of it. In fact, according to Yahoo Finance, adding an EV to your home, meaning an EV charging station or just the cost to charge at public stations, is about the equivalent of adding another two whole air conditioning systems that run all year long. Not only is that a lot of electricity, but that’s also a lot more money going towards an electricity bill.

And according to an August report from Bloomberg, nearly 20 million Americans are already either behind or struggling to pay their electric bills.

Add this to the fact that America’s power grid is already maxed out.

Per ICF International, as electricity and not fossil fuels become more of the trend, the power grid is struggling and failing to keep up. We see more power outages and blackouts than ever before. And that was before everyone and their mom owns an electric car.

ICF California has even already admitted that, should more EVs be used in the state, there will be a 40 percent increase in electric power demands. And as Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom has made clear, that is most definitely the goal.

There is also the issue of just how much an EV costs outright.

Most EVs start at around $50,000, which just goes up. Just to let you know, that’s about an entire year’s worth of wages for most lower to middle-income individuals.

Middle to lower-income earners also might not be able to afford an EV because of their housing situation. For instance, while the rich might be able to afford to add a charging station to their home, landlords are highly unlikely to do the same for their renters. So those who rent are that much more unlikely to get an EV or be able to afford the charging costs.

Of course, there are also all of the production and manufacturing issues I’m sure you’ve heard of. You know, things like how hauling anything, driving in the cold, going uphill, using the AC, etc., will dramatically drain the battery and shorten your driving range. And should that battery ever need to be replaced, be ready to shell out another $30,000.

There’s also the fact that they really aren’t any more planet-friendly than their gas-guzzling counterparts.

And yet, EVs are still being pushed on us. Toyoda is right not to follow that advice blindly.