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Opinion
Anjani Trivedi

The Wheels Have Come Off Electric Vehicles

If Toyota’s cars can’t keep their tires on, what good is its $35 billion EV pledge?

It was already dragging its feet on EVs.

It was already dragging its feet on EVs.

Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

The world’s biggest car company, Toyota Motor Corp., reluctantly released an electric vehicle in May. Weeks later, it recalled 2,700 of them because there was a risk their wheels — the most fundamental component — would fall off. If that’s the level of quality and safety traditional auto giants are willing to commit to, then investors and regulators should increase their scrutiny.

Getting it right on battery technology and electric motors is one thing, but bolting the wheels on properly? It shouldn’t even be a question. Billions of dollars have been invested, huge promises have been made and every major car manufacturer in the world has committed to go electric and clean. What’s more, cars are selling at record high prices.