A 2024 Toyota Prius Prime is shown charging on a driveway.

Toyota’s Gradual Shift Toward an All-Electric Lineup

Toyota appeals to drivers looking to reduce their carbon footprint but aren’t quite ready to go full electric. Some drivers are comfortable with the technology, while others live without the infrastructure that supports public charging. The automaker has kept this in mind when rolling out plans for its future lineup of vehicles. Toyota is supreme when it comes to affordable hybrid cars, with a diverse range of HEVs and PHEVs that work well to balance out its more conservative number of electric vehicles (EVs). It has plenty of options for drivers who want to do their part but don’t want to give up the convenience of a gas engine or don’t have extra thousands to spend on a sporty, high-end model like a Tesla that often puts style before substance. One look at your local Toyota dealer, and you’ll see a wide range of hybrid options. Let’s take a closer look at Toyota’s current position in the EV market and where they’re headed.

So Why Isn’t Toyota Full Electric by Now?

Toyota was one of the first brands to offer a mass-marketed hybrid, the Prius. For a while, that was the mark of an eco-friendly driver who wanted to do their part. But in the last few years, with big names like GM planning to go fully electric, why isn’t a brand like Toyota leading the pack? While Toyota has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, it’s not as full-on when it comes to producing EVs. In response to whether or not it’s dedicated to providing an all-electric lineup of vehicles and when, Toyota has pointed out that not all areas of the world have the infrastructure to support electric vehicles at the moment, which explains the company’s large investment in hybrids.

Jack Hollis, executive vice president of sales at Toyota Motor North America, went on record in 2022 explaining Toyota’s limited approach to EV manufacturing, “For as much as people want to talk about EVs, the marketplace isn’t mature enough and ready enough.” While Jim Adler, founding managing director of Toyota Ventures, has been quoted as saying “It really will be a mixed market.” However, there is no doubt that Toyota has made an effort to provide affordable hybrid and EV vehicles for drivers across the globe, making it possible for every person to do as much as they can regarding their location and financial situation.

A silver 2024 Toyota bZ4X is shown charging near a Toyota dealer.

Going Green With Toyota

If you’re hoping for an electric EV from Toyota, there is plenty on the horizon, with the company investing nearly 30 billion to create a family of 30 EVs by 2030. As we roll into 2024, Toyota currently offers two EV models. The Mirai is a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) that uses hydrogen to generate its own electric current. Instead of carbon, water vapor is emitted. The newly released bZ4X is more of what you think of when it comes to EVs. It is a traditional Battery Electric Vehicle, or BEV, that emits zero carbon and can be charged up at home or on the go.

The bZ4X offers healthy competition to the Tesla Y model. The bZ4X starts at a lower price, and while drivers might note differences like Tesla’s faster charging speed, Toyota decided to make an executive decision to offer a lower charging speed to increase the longevity of the battery. This gives the Toyota a longer shelf life than the Tesla Y. The bZ4X also offers a more familiar interior than the Tesla Y, with user-friendly technology that echoes the traditional look of a car rather than a spaceship. The first-class engineering that Toyota has honed over a lifetime of making cars offers a smoother ride, making the electric bZ4X comfortable and more rewarding for everyday driving.

A Wide Variety of Hybrid Options to Choose From

A big part of Toyota offering an extensive line of hybrids rather than focusing 100% on EVs has to do with their understanding that not everyone lives somewhere that supports an EV. So, for drivers looking to do their part as best as they can, Toyota has created an extensive line of hybrid options that, while they still produce carbon emissions, are less than their gas counterparts. A hybrid also presents a familiar vehicle to drivers on the fence about going electric and wanting to get a taste of the newest technology before jumping in with both feet. We have to appreciate that Toyota is a company that considers both sides of the coin and continues to keep drivers in mind when designing its cars.

Currently, Toyota offers an impressive 12 hybrid models plus two plug-in hybrid models to make going green easier for drivers around the globe. The two plug-in hybrids consist of the Prius Prime and the RAV4 Prime, so drivers can get a taste of what it’s like to plug in their car and charge up. The sheer volume of hybrid vehicles means drivers can pick out a vehicle that gives them the familiar feel of a gas-powered vehicle, only with better fuel economy. Hybrid models like the Prius and Corolla start at under 30k, making them affordable to everyday drivers who want to do their part without shattering their budget.

A red 2024 Toyota RAV4 Prime is shown driving near a city.

The Path Towards an All-Electric Future

Toyota is a reliable brand loved by drivers worldwide. The automaker keeps these drivers in mind when creating plans to move forward. It understands the need for clean cars but also gets some places have limited to no support for EV cars. It has also been noted that while markets like Europe have been quick to make the switch from gas to electric, countries like the US tend to be slower when it comes to change.

The Japanese automaker has made a statement that sums up the future of the car market as being “mixed” rather than 100% electric. And while automakers across the globe continue to make electricity their priority, Toyota has taken a different route, putting its money and effort not just into electric but also into a large range of hybrid cars that make it possible for drivers to do what they can to help reduce carbon emissions no matter where they happen to live. Rather than jumping completely into the EV market, Toyota has been making careful decisions regarding their all-electric lineup. This transition has been slower than its competitors; however, each move has been meticulously planned to ensure the car-buying public has a broad range of choices when making the leap to hybrid and all-electric vehicles.

Toyota knows that climate change is a complex issue, as with any complex issue, there is not always a single simple solution. Looking to go green? Get the most for your money and go Toyota. With a reputation for long-lasting dependability and smart design, serious thought goes into each of Toyota’s models, always with the driver in mind. Whether it’s affordability or reliability, a Toyota hybrid or EV doesn’t just look good; it is good for drivers, their budget, and our planet as a whole. For those looking to make the leap into an electrified vehicle, an investment in one of Toyota’s models is a wise decision for many drivers and lifestyles.