Toyota's Electric Vehicle Skepticism: Is Australia Really a No-Go Zone for EVs?
Toyota's Electric Vehicle Skepticism: Is Australia Really a No-Go Zone for EVs?

Toyota’s Electric Vehicle Skepticism: Is Australia Really a No-Go Zone for EVs?

October 27, 2023

Toyota’s Electric Doubts: A Global Reveal with Local Implications

So, Toyota’s been throwing some shade at electric vehicles (EVs) in Australia. During the global reveal of their updated 2024 bZ4X, Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia’s VP of Sales, Marketing, and Franchise Operations, said EVs just don’t make sense Down Under. He’s all about those hybrid-electric vehicles, claiming they’re a better fit for most Aussie consumers.

But here’s the kicker: Tesla’s Model Y is crushing it in Australia, making Hanley’s comments look a bit, well, outdated. The Model Y has even dethroned Toyota’s own RAV4, along with the Ford Ranger and Mazda CX-5, to become Australia’s top-selling SUV. So, what gives?

Australia’s EV Market: Heating Up Like a Summer Barbecue

Australia might have been a bit late to the electric vehicle party, but oh boy, are they making up for lost time. Last year, electric models made up a mere 3.8% of overall car sales. Fast forward to this year, and that number has skyrocketed. Thanks to affordable options like BYD’s Atto 3 from China, EV sales are up a staggering 80%, and over 65,000 Aussies have gone electric.

Now, Toyota has been the king of the hybrid market in Australia, with nearly 90% of hybrid sales last year. But with the EV market heating up like a shrimp on a barbie, it’s hard to ignore the electric buzz.

Government’s Role: A Strategy That’s Actually Working

Australia’s government isn’t sitting on its hands either. They’ve rolled out a National Electric Vehicle Strategy that aims to do three things: make EVs more affordable, set up the necessary infrastructure, and drum up demand for zero-emission options. And guess what? It’s working. The market is flooded with affordable models, and people are buying them like hotcakes.

Sean Hanley, despite his love for hybrids, did clarify that he’s not saying hybrids should replace BEVs “everywhere and forever.” Toyota itself is ramping up its electric vehicle tech, with plans to launch a new dedicated EV platform and 10 new electric models by 2026.

Australia’s Renewable Energy: A Future So Bright, You’ll Need Shades

Australia is on a fast track to a cleaner future, aiming to boost its share of renewable energy to 82% by 2030. The country’s solar power generation capacity has surged by over 200% since 2018, ranking it sixth globally. So, if Australia is moving full steam ahead, why is Toyota pumping the brakes?


  1. Why is Toyota Skeptical About EVs in Australia?
    • According to Toyota Australia’s VP, Sean Hanley, hybrid-electric vehicles are a better fit for most consumers in Australia. He believes that EVs make more sense in countries like Norway, where most energy is renewable.
  2. Is Tesla Proving Toyota Wrong?
    • Absolutely. Tesla’s Model Y has become the top-selling SUV in Australia, outperforming Toyota’s RAV4 and other popular models.
  3. What is Australia’s National Electric Vehicle Strategy?
    • The strategy aims to make EVs more affordable, establish the necessary infrastructure, and increase demand for zero-emission options.
  4. What Are Toyota’s Future Plans for EVs?
    • Toyota plans to launch a new dedicated EV platform with 10 new electric models by 2026. They will start selling their first EV, the bZ4X, in Australia in February.
  5. Is Australia Making Progress in Renewable Energy?
    • Yes, Australia plans to increase its share of renewable energy to 82% by 2030. The country is also one of the fastest-growing renewable energy producers globally.

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