Toyota executive warns of "electrified armageddon" for auto industry
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."