Hybrids a better option for Australia says Toyota's top scientist

Toyota's top research scientist, Gill Pratt, believes that hybrid vehicles are a better option for countries like Australia, which rely heavily on coal for electricity generation. Pratt argues that while electric vehicles (EVs) are beneficial for countries with abundant renewable energy sources, regions dependent on coal-fired power stations can benefit more from hybrid vehicles.

In Australia, where a significant portion of electricity is generated from coal, charging EVs using renewable sources is not as common due to the prevalence of coal-based power supply. Pratt's statement aligns with data published by Mitsubishi, indicating that EVs offer greater environmental benefits in countries with renewable energy generation.


Pratt also cautioned against an immediate global shift to battery-powered cars, stating that there is currently a scarcity of raw materials required for battery production. He explained that it will take several decades to scale up battery material mines, renewable power generation facilities, transmission lines, and seasonal energy storage facilities.

Toyota defends its focus on hybrids by stating that it allows for the distribution of precious battery minerals across a larger number of cars. By halving fuel consumption and emissions, hybrids like the Toyota Camry, can utilize battery capacity equivalent to that of a single EV, making them a more efficient use of limited battery materials.

Ongoing development of solid-state batteries considered the next breakthrough in EV technology. Many car companies, including Toyota, are investing in this area. Despite criticism, Toyota was the first to showcase a concept car powered by solid-state batteries at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, while other manufacturers like BMW and Volkswagen are also working on this technology.


News Source: Drive.com.au