Dec 6, 2019 - Energy & Environment

Toyota executive warns of "electrified armageddon" for auto industry

GM's new Cadillac EV model

GM plans 20 new electric vehicles by 2023, including many Cadillac models. Photo: GM

While General Motors was announcing plans Thursday for a huge $2.3 billion battery factory to boost production of electric vehicles, a Toyota executive warned of a looming industry disaster, calling it "electrified armageddon."

Why it matters: Somebody is wrong. Either GM's heavy spending on battery-electric vehicles will be wasted, or Toyota will be caught flat-footed when the rest of the market goes electric.

What's happening: GM and Korea's LG Chem are forming a $2.3 billion joint venture to build one of the world's largest battery cell factories in Ohio, creating 1,100 new jobs.

  • The plant's massive scale, along with the partners' ongoing chemistry research, will help lower the cost of batteries and finally make EVs affordable, GM says.
  • But Toyota thinks there's still not enough demand for EVs, and it remains primarily focused on hybrids like its hot-selling Rav4 hybrid.

What they're saying:

  • GM CEO Mary Barra: "GM believes in the science of global warming. We believe in an all-electric future. It’s not a question of if, but when."
  • Toyota EVP Bob Carter: "Somebody's got to buy these things. I've been saying we're going to see electrified armageddon. Because of the cost premium, supply is going to get ahead of true customer demand."

Go deeper:

Go deeper