It’s time Toyota reverse course and put electric vehicles in the fast lane.
By East Peterson-Trujillo
I grew up in the Bay Area in the late 90’s and 2000’s — which is to say, I grew up surrounded by the Toyota Prius.
The Prius, the first modern mass-market hybrid car, debuted in 2000 in the U.S. and brought an exciting new technology to fight climate change and reduce air pollution in our communities. My own parents bought a Prius-c in 2012, and I was elated: I’d get to drive it, having gotten my license that year.
Twenty years ago, Toyota Motors was on the cutting edge, leading the pack.
Twenty years later, Toyota is ranked the company with the third most negative impact in the world on climate policy, just behind oil giants ExxonMobil and Chevron. How did Toyota earn this awful ranking? By lobbying to weaken greenhouse gas standards for vehicles and opposing requirements that it sell electric vehicles.
That’s why Public Citizen is demanding that Toyota put its anti-climate action in reverse and commit to producing only electric vehicles by 2030. Join us by signing our petition today!
Not even factored into Toyota’s terrible ranking is its cheating on fuel emissions tests: the company was fined $180 million last year by the EPA for violating clean air regulations, which protect public health and the environment from pollution.
The transportation sector is the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and is a major source of air pollution in our communities. Yet Toyota continues marketing itself as a sustainable brand while dragging its feet on delivering an all-EV product line. Why? Because it went all-in on hybrids and wants to keep raking in those profits.
We can’t afford to wait for Toyota’s slow pace.
We need a complete transition to electric vehicles — and a revamp of our transportation systems — as rapidly as possible. Toyota must bring more clean, electric vehicles to market and phase out polluting models starting now. That means producing new electric vehicles of all types, advertising to support their sales, and investing in charging infrastructure.
As the largest global auto manufacturer, Toyota can help shift the global market on EVs.