Toyota’s Koji Sato says Japan will prioritize hybrids over electric vehicles

Japanese automakers are betting on hybrid, not electric, vehicles. The tactic contrasts with China, which continues to increase its production of electric vehicles, and the United States, which has seen sales of electric vehicles decline despite investment and government support.

In a rare joint appearance, the heads of Toyota, Mazda and Subaru pledged to invest in efficient combustion technology and unveiled new hybrid engine prototypes, including one that runs on hydrogen fuel cells. Toyota CEO Koji Sato said hybrids will play a “new role” for consumers who are dissatisfied with the high prices of electric vehicles and the lack of charging infrastructure.

Despite growing interest in electric vehicles as a green transportation solution, hybrid vehicles are cheaper and easier to produce.