Those inside the local division of the world’s largest car manufacturer, Toyota, say while other brands might be focussing attention on a single future powertrain technology, they’re confident the Japanese marque’s broader approach will prove successful in the long run.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the 2017 Rally South Australia, Toyota Australia’s product public relations manager, Stephen Coughlan, said although current local infrastructure might be lagging behind that seen in other countries, long term, the brand should have enough alternatives to cover a wide array of future possibilities and outcomes.
"We’re well placed," Coughlan said.
"From a global perspective, we have within our armoury everything from well-established hybrids to hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles to EVs to smaller personal mobility devices to conventional petrol and diesel engines. So we’re well placed to move whichever direction the market goes in terms of demand and in terms of infrastructure."
Specifically citing the "strong potential" of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs), Coughlan said not only is Toyota proud of the fact there are three Mirai – the world’s first mass-produced FCV – and a mobile high-pressure hydrogen refueller currently in Australia, but that the local arm is also lobbying to see a wider future rollout of the technology.
"It really depends on time frames," Coughlan said. "Obviously a fuel-cell revolution isn’t going to be something that just happens overnight, but within our global armoury we have every option covered.
"Other brands are putting all their eggs in one basket – or haven’t showcased yet their full wares – but we’ve got something to offer, whichever way it goes or whichever way we want to take it."
Which future technology are you backing: hybrid, electric, or hydrogen fuel-cell? How much of a future do you think conventional petrol and diesel engines have? And if you were a major brand, what would you invest in? Let us know in the comments below.