If you are questioning why Toyota and Honda are abandoning hydrogen fuel cells, a technology both championed for decades, then there is one simple reason… statistics. Recent statistics from automotive industry analysts suggest Toyota and Honda are quickly losing ground to rival car brands offering battery electric cars. Both Japanese car giants invested heavily in hydrogen technology as the enlightened path to a zero-emissions future. Elon Musk and Tesla have changed everything.
With no battery electric car strategy to speak of, and few electric vehicles in their product portfolio, once loyal American consumers of Toyota and Honda are switching their buying focus onto Tesla, Ford and Chevrolet, to name but a few.
While conducting research S&P Global Mobility discovered that the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y captured sales from typically loyal Honda and Toyota buyers. The Model Y captured sales from prospective buyers of Lexus RX, Toyota RAV4, Honda Odyssey, CR-V and Accord.
Tesla has topped the EV sales charts in the USA with registration data showing the company selling four of the top five EV models during 2022. Tesla currently has a 65-percent EV market share. However, industry analysts believe Tesla’s market dominance will drop to 20-percent by 2025 as rival manufacturers ramp up their EV product portfolio.
Toyota and Honda are racing to release battery electric vehicles fearing being left behind as consumers vote with their wallets. Toyota does have a battery electric SUV, the bZ4x Crossover. However, sales were recently stopped for months shortly after release, a mass recall was initiated due to defective wheel nuts.
The Honda E, no longer in production, was merely a stop-gap solution, it offered limited range and the hatch-back form factor had very little appeal in the USA where consumers prefer SUVs.