7 months ago • 2 mins
What’s going on here?
Toyota, the automaking titan, has unveiled plans for a new, vigorous push into the EV market.
What does this mean?
Toyota had a killer financial year-end, keeping its crown as the world’s leading automaker thanks to a softer yen – which pumped up the value of international sales – and the easing of supply snags. But it’s not all been smooth smailing. Over in China – the world’s biggest car market – local brands like BYD are making waves with their all-electric cars, and Toyota’s looking over its shoulder pretty anxiously. The game plan: amp up its EV drive in a bid to stay ahead. Toyota’s not shy about its goals: after shifting 38,000 battery-powered EVs last year, it’s shooting for over 200,000 this year – and a head-turning 1.5 million by 2026, by which time it plans to unveil 10 fresh car models too.
Why should I care?
The bigger picture: Baby steps.
If Toyota hits the bullseye this year, EVs will still only amount to a fraction of its total sales – and well behind industry leader Tesla’s figures. But every big leap starts with a small step – and while this push doesn’t mean Toyota is going to stop dabbling in other technologies, like gasoline, hybrid, and hydrogen, the firm’s heading in the right direction, particularly for green-minded investors. That, along with the announcement of a fresh $1.1 billion buyback program, could explain why Toyota’s stock jumped when the news broke.
Zooming out: Metalheads.
EVs are key to the much-vaunted green energy transition, and lithium carbonate is a crucial ingredient in making their batteries. And that’s got savvy miners anticipating a surge in demand and adding to their reserves of the precious substance. Case in point: Allkem announced on Wednesday that it’s merging with fellow lithium producer Livent – catapulting the new, merged firm to spot number three on the list of the world’s biggest producers.
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