Japan’s motor show aims to wow with its electric concepts

Category : Technology/Innovations

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. galvanize / ˈgæl vəˌnaɪz / (v.) – to cause something to become active and to change

    The new business policies have galvanized support from business owners.

  2. fraction / ˈfræk ʃən / (n.) – a part or amount of something

    A fraction of the fees for deserving students is paid through a scholarship program.

  3. rival / ˈraɪ vəl / (n.) – someone/something that tries to defeat or be more successful than another

    The two companies have been rivals in the market for years.

  4. hybrid / ˈhaɪ brɪd / (n.) – a vehicle that uses two different types of power, such as gas and electricity

    Some automakers think that hybrids are better than electric and traditional vehicles since it’s a combination of both.

  5. exemplify / ɪgˈzɛm pləˌfaɪ / (v.) – to be or give a good example of something

    He exemplified the qualities and skills of a true leader.


Read the text below.

The Tokyo car show is back in town and Japan’s car makers are presenting a future that is more than just electric.

It’s the first day of the Japan Mobility Show and Toyota’s President Koji Sato is promising the new wave of electric cars can be anything drivers want them to be: sports, SUVs, or vans for business. He says the technology is in place to deliver.

According to Sato, the new EVs are more than just a drive, but rather an extension of a lifestyle.

Autocar Editor Mark Tisshaw says the lineup at the motor show is impressive. “There’s been some really really exciting new concept cars, one of them being from Mazda, a new little sports car that shows the future of the MX5 (Roadster in Japan/Asia). Nissan has shown a whole host of new concepts, as has Toyota. So the big manufacturers in Japan have made up for the four-year absence of the show here in Tokyo with a load of exciting new reveals.”

According to Tisshaw, China’s move into EVs has galvanized demand for electric cars in general.

“The rise of EVs particularly in China, that are now being exported all over the world with lower prices, have really accelerated the development of electric cars globally including in Japan. A lot of the electric cars, electric car concepts we see here might not be on sale for the next two or three years globally, however, when these cars go on sale made by the Japanese makers, we expect them to catch a real second wave of interest in EV makers. Longer-term Japan will be in a very strong position.”

The Americans make up a very tiny fraction of Japanese auto sales and have had a hard time cracking a market where domestic makers remain powerful.

Toyota executives have acknowledged that Japan’s top automaker has fallen behind rivals in EV development like Tesla of the U.S. and China’s BYD Auto. That is partly because of Toyota’s past success in hybrids, exemplified in the Prius.

Toyota is targeting sales of 1.5 million EVs a year by 2026 and 3.5 million by 2030. 

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • What do you think about the idea of electric cars being designed to cater to a variety of preferences, such as sports cars, SUVs, or business vans (ex. it can cater to different lifestyles, I don’t think it’s practical)? Why? Discuss.
  • Given the chance, what type of electric vehicle would you like to have for yourself: a sports car, an SUV, or a business van? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • How do you think new car brands can successfully gain popularity in the market (ex. have unique designs and aesthetics, offer more affordable vehicles)? Discuss.
  • Are people in your country already making a switch to EVs? Why do you think this is so? Discuss.
Category : Technology/Innovations