WASHINGTON, D.C. – Public Citizen today called on John Podesta, senior advisor to the President for clean energy innovation and implementation, to push Toyota Motor Corporation to make public commitments to fixing the climate crisis, including phasing out internal combustion vehicles.
The letter follows reports from Reuters where Mr. Podesta told a reporter “they’re fully now committed under their new leadership to electrification.” Toyota has made no public commitment to electrifying their full fleet.
“If Toyota is fully committed to producing only electric vehicles, the company must say so publicly, not just in closed-door meetings with the White House,” said East Peterson Trujillo, clean vehicles campaigner at Public Citizen. “Toyota must commit to phase out its production of polluting fossil-fueled cars, build out a green, sustainable supply chain, and end its anti-climate lobbying. As the White House works with car manufactures to improve access to EVs, the Biden Administration must push companies to change as quickly as possible for all of our futures.”
In 2019, Toyota committed to selling 3.5 million all-electric vehicles per year by 2030, accounting for only one-third of the company’s current vehicle sales. The company’s new CEO Koji Sato, set a target in April to increase its EV sales to 1.5 million units each year by 2026, according to reports.
The company has lagged behind other manufacturers in producing EVs. Further, its environmental strategy revolved around lobbying to delay electric vehicle (EV) adoption and fighting for weaker fuel efficiency standards set forth by the Trump administration. The company’s efforts earned it the worst ranking among automakers on climate policy for two years in a row.
“Toyota’s refusal to lead a rapid transition to electric vehicles and its advocacy against EV policies not only thwarts climate progress, but harms American families every year,” Public Citizen writes in the letter to Podesta. “Toyota’s recent record flatly contradicts the notion that it is fully committed to phasing out fossil fuel vehicles. We are glad that you are engaging with Toyota, and we urge you to push it to commit publicly to be an engine for good in fighting the climate crisis.”
# # #