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Toyota leasing unit warns of ‘unprecedented’ challenge to boost EV sales

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A senior executive at a Toyota leasing subsidiary has warned that the world’s largest carmaker is confronting an “unprecedented” challenge to revive its electric vehicle sales, as it risks missing its already low target in Japan for the second consecutive year.

The bleak outlook for the bZ4X, Toyota’s first mass-produced all-electric car that was recalled weeks after launching in May, comes as people close to the Japanese group say that it is overhauling its plans for rolling out battery-powered vehicles.

Unlike rivals banking solely on EVs, Toyota is relying on growth from hybrid vehicles — with both petrol and electric power — as well as hydrogen cars. The company argues that not every country will be able to accommodate EVs because of electricity constraints and affordability.

Toyota is coming under increasing pressure from investors to hone its EV strategy, with the botched launch of the bZ4X fuelling concern that the carmaker is falling behind rivals. Toyota resumed production of the bZ4X in October, after addressing issues with bolts that could cause its wheels to fall off.

“This was the first time in Toyota’s history that a recall occurred immediately…

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