Toyota Hosts Annual CIAS Dinner

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Toyota Canada President and CEO, Larry Hutchinson speaking at this year’s annual corporate dinner. (Photo: Jack Kazmierski)

Climate change and carbon emissions top agenda at corporate event.

Toyota Canada’s annual corporate dinner took place this year on Feb. 11th in Toronto, just days before the official opening of the 2020 Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS).

Toyota Canada President and CEO, Larry Hutchinson, spoke at length about climate change, carbon emissions, and the role both government and the auto industry will have to play in order to find a solution to the challenges facing our planet.

“Over that short timeframe, it seems almost everyone – governments, businesses and consumers – has thankfully strengthened their resolve to save the planet,” Hutchinson said. “Collectively, we’re working to slow – and hopefully stop – climate change by reducing our carbon emissions. And, as an industry, we’re making some progress.”

But frankly, he added, we’re still not on track. “This is becoming a bigger issue every day and we need to do more.”

He explained that although the battery electric vehicle (BEV) has been hogging the electrification spotlight, BEVs are not the solution… at least not yet. Due to the costs incurred by manufacturers to bring viable BEVs to market, as well as the premium consumers need to pay in order to purchase a BEV, we simply can’t get enough of them onto public roads to make a difference now.

“If overall carbon reduction is our true goal – and we think it should be – public policy needs to embrace, not discourage, potentially larger, lower cost solutions using already available and in-demand technology,” Hutchinson added. 

In other words, a more viable immediate solution is the hybrid or the plug-in hybrid. “They’re more economical with no compromises,” Hutchinson explained. “A better product and a better driving experience. And we’re planning to offer Canadians even more exciting hybrids and plug-in hybrids, including better, lower-emission SUVs.”

Look for a full report in the next issue of Canadian AutoJournal.

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