The Washington Auto Show is currently underway, an annual event where the public is invited to check out the latest vehicle models from automakers. This week, Sierra Club decided to make an appearance to remind people to look beyond the shiny version of Toyota on display there – and remember their real track record.
Toyota has lobbied against policies promoting the transition to clean, electric vehicles in both the United States and Europe. In the US, Toyota sided with the Trump administration in its various rollbacks of clean car regulations. When President Biden took office, the automaker continued to lobby Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for loopholes in a federal rule aimed at protecting people from auto pollution.
Toyota’s strategy to transition away from fossil fuel powered cars has been weak compared to other manufacturers. Instead of going all in on electrification, the automaker has insisted on pumping out dirty, methane-sourced hydrogen vehicles and dated hybrids. Though they’re showcasing a new hybrid (not actually an “all-electric” vehicle as Toyota claimed) and a fully electric vehicle at the auto show, Toyota also continues to churn out millions of gas-powered vehicles. In fact, Toyota’s five best-selling vehicles in 2021 were all gas-powered.
Toyota recently became the top selling automaker in the US for the first time. It has an opportunity to be a leader in the electric vehicle market. The Prius is in the rear view mirror – so why can’t Toyota catch up?
“Between lobbying against cleaner cars and prioritizing the sale of gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs, Toyota’s green image is nothing but smog and mirrors. Despite appearances at the DC Auto Show, Toyota is no longer the leader it once was in clean transportation,” said Katherine García, director of Sierra Club’s Clean Transportation for All campaign. “We must urgently shift to electric vehicles this decade to achieve much-needed climate progress and improve air quality in communities across the nation. Toyota needs to see the writing on the wall and start selling EVs now.”
You can help ramp up the pressure on Toyota by tweeting at them!