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Toyota’s New Electric Vehicle Strategy: Better than Nothing but Continues to Fall Short

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Toyota Motor Corporation today announced an updated electric vehicle (EV) strategy aimed at creating a new battery-electric vehicle (BEV) dedicated platform, estimating it will sell 1.5 million BEVs annually by 2026. For comparison, the company’s global sales volume was 10.5 million in 2022. At the announcement, Koji Sato, who took the helm as Toyota’s CEO on April 1, stated Toyota will “continue to pursue diverse options” to reduce emissions, and made no announcement about phasing out production of all combustion engine vehicles.  

“Toyota’s new EV platform is a modest improvement for an auto giant that lobbied for decades to delay the EV transition and until today had a EV strategy of doing next to nothing, but it still fails to meet the urgency of the climate crisis,” said Erika Thi Patterson, supply chain campaign director with Public Citizen. “It’s a mere baby step considering the price we will pay for Toyota’s failure to fully reverse course on the internal combustion engine. Koji Sato is missing the moment. Our planet and our communities need Toyota to end production of fossil-fueled vehicles globally by 2035, end its lobbying against electric vehicles globally, and commit to building fossil-free, equitable, and responsible supply chains as it brings clean, zero-emission vehicles to market.” 

Public Citizen and 53 international partners called on Toyota last week to produce solely zero-emission vehicles in the U.S. and Europe by 2030 and globally by 2035. Last month, in addition to calling for a complete transition to EVs, Public Citizen launched a campaign to push Toyota to build out a greener, more equitable supply chain for its vehicles. 

In the letter, the groups call on the automaker to: 

  • phase out internal combustion engine vehicles (including hybrids and plug-in hybrids) in the U.S. and Europe by 2030 and globally by 2035;
  • align advocacy and lobbying with the goal of phasing out internal combustion engines, and be a voice for 100% renewable energy economy-wide;
  • require 100% renewable energy use throughout its supply chains globally by 2035;
  • by 2025, sign a procurement commitment for fossil-free primary steel and commit to source 100% fossil-free steel by 2050;
  • require responsible sourcing of its battery minerals, and develop battery design that allows for easy reuse and recycling of minerals;
  • establish a clear commitment to Indigenous Peoples’ right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent, which should be extended to your suppliers.