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Toyota Moving Too Slowly on Zero-Emission Vehicles

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Environmental, climate justice, and public interest advocacy groups called on Toyota Motor Corporation’s CEO, Akio Toyoda, to commit the company to producing only zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs) by 2030. The letter, signed by 16 organizations pushing Toyota to rapidly transition its lineup to electric vehicles, urges the company to shift swiftly to EVs or risk obsolescence. 

“Your refusal to lead a rapid transition to electric vehicles and your advocacy against ZEV policies not only contradicts what consumers want, but also harms them,” the groups write in the letter. “Your competitors have made much more progress and plan to go fully electric at a much quicker pace: General Motors, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and Ford have committed to work towards 100% zero-emission new car and van sales in leading markets by 2035.”

The letter comes in response to CEO Toyoda’s doubling down on his company’s reluctance to embrace electric vehicles at a September press event in Las Vegas. A recent press report suggests some within the company are advocating a change in strategy, but Toyota’s official stance remains firm.

Read the full letter here. 

Signers provided the below statements:

“As the largest global auto manufacturer, Toyota must join the transition to zero-emission vehicles,” said East Peterson-Trujillo, clean vehicles campaigner with Public Citizen’s Climate Program. “EVs are the future: with no tailpipe emissions, they’re better for our health and our climate. Toyota must build for our future.” 

“Toyota’s sitting in the slow lane when it comes to the auto industry’s transition to produce only zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs) by 2030,” said Glenn Hurowitz, CEO at Mighty Earth. “Its target of reducing CO2 emissions from their vehicles by 90% by 2050 is in no way ambitious enough to meet the climate challenges we face. And going electric is just getting off the starting grid. Toyota also needs to decarbonize its material supply chain, particularly for steel and aluminum. That means aligning with SteelZero commitments to source 50% net zero steel by 2030 and 100% by 2050 and announcing significant purchasing agreements for green aluminum by 2030.”

“Unfortunately, Toyota has been aggressively fighting virtually any effort to reduce tailpipe pollution, which is the leading emitter of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere,” said Environmental Working Group president and co-founder Ken Cook. “If the company doesn’t drop its opposition to these important investments in clean car technologies, consumers should stop buying their cars. A mass exodus from Toyota’s car lots may be the only leverage left to change its outrageous behavior and posture when it comes to combating the climate crisis.”