Japan’s car industry has been slow to adopt electric vehicles (EVs), with just 1.7% of cars sold in the country being electric in 2022, compared to approximately 15% in Western Europe, 5.3% in the United States, and nearly one in five in China. Japanese firms, including Toyota and Nissan, have been criticized for their slow progress in transitioning to electric vehicles, leading to concerns that China may overtake Japan as the world’s largest car exporter.
Japanese car manufacturers have largely focused on hybrid vehicles, which combine battery power with internal combustion engines. However, with the global shift towards electric vehicles, Japanese automakers are working to catch up, with Toyota aiming to sell 1.5 million EVs annually by 2026 and 3.5 million by 2030. Despite this, they face growing competition from Chinese and foreign EV manufacturers.