The infrastructure Japan needs to fully switch to electric vehicles will cost the country about $ 350 billion, Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda said at the Japan Association of Automobile Manufacturers annual press conference.
According to Toyoda, who is also the chairman of the automakers' association, Japan would be left without electricity in the summer if all cars in the country were electric.
“When politicians come out and say that we need to get rid of all gasoline-powered cars, do they understand what this is about?” he said.
Too hasty a ban on gasoline cars, he said, "will lead to the collapse of the current business model of automakers" and the loss of millions of jobs.
In a country like Japan, where most of the electricity comes from burning coal and gas, switching to electric vehicles will not help the environment, Toyoda said.
"The more electric vehicles we produce, the worse the carbon footprint gets," he said.
He also fears that cars may become inaccessible to the average citizen of the country.
Advocates of more EV use in Japan say cars can be charged at night when electricity demand is low. This market can grow gradually, along with the development of "green" technologies, they say.
In early December, Japanese media reported that the Japanese government plans to soon announce its intention to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars from 2035, while retaining the option to purchase hybrid vehicles.
However, so far there has been no official announcement. The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry says no decisions have been made on the future of diesel cars, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Toyota is the market leader in hybrid vehicles and does not sell electric vehicles to the mass market in the United States or Japan. The company is also releasing a hydrogen fuel cell car model.
Earlier this year, US electric vehicle maker Tesla surpassed Toyota in capitalization to become the world's most valuable automaker.