Some environmentalists are starting to call for a boycott of Toyota as the automaker keeps using its money and influence to slow down electric vehicle progress.
Once thought of as a leader in electrification and efficiency with the Prius, Toyota sat on its lead and let the rest of the auto industry pass it when it comes to battery-electric vehicles.
While other automakers started to realize that the future is all-electric vehicles, Toyota dug its heels in with hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles.
What’s most infuriating people is the automaker’s attempts to actively slow down all-electric vehicle progress through lobbying efforts. Toyota opposed the newly unveiled reform to the federal EV incentive program that removes the caps on the number of vehicles per manufacturer that can benefit from incentives.
The automaker claimed that it was due to the additional money that is going to electric vehicles built by unions, however, Toyota started lobbying the US government against updating the EV incentive before a union bonus was involved.
It’s also not the first time that Toyota has lobbied for initiatives that would slow down EV adoption. The automaker also sided with Trump’s administration in a lawsuit to stop California from imposing its own emission standards that are stricter than the federal ones. Toyota only dropped out of the lawsuit after President Biden took over the White House and the lawsuit looked hopeless.
Since the automaker seemingly doesn’t to want to see reason, environmentalists are now calling for a boycott of the brand.
Paul Scott, a founder of the EV advocacy group Plug In America, is leading the boycott effort:
“The climate clock is ticking and we have to start hitting polluters where it counts–in the money. I worked at an EV dealership, although it wasn’t Toyota, and I can tell you that this is our best chance for change, alongside federal legislation. Car sales people loathe losing a single sale and they hate bad publicity. Toyota deserves every bit of it because they are keeping us addicted to gasoline.”
Scott staged a protest to boycott the automaker at its Toyota of Santa Monica location.
In a September 21 letter to Toyota, several groups have joined forces to ask for a meeting with Tetsuo “Ted” Ogawa, president and chief executive officer of Toyota Motor North America to discuss Toyota’s lobbying effort against electric vehicles.
They wrote in the letter:
“Unfortunately, Toyota’s efforts to lobby Congress to steer away from this vision and pressure members of Congress to reduce funding and oppose tax credits for Americans’ access to zero-emission EVs are putting our nation’s and the world’s transportation and climate future at risk. As a collective group of organizations concerned about the tremendous consequences of such action, we ask Toyota not to stand in the way of Congressional funding of the president’s vision. Instead, we urge you to fully support battery electric vehicle investments in all modes of transportation, and in all related zero-emission EV charging and other infrastructure needs.”
Here are the groups who signed the letter:
- Center for Biological Diversity
- Electric Auto Association
- Environmental Defense Fund
- Environmental Working Group
- League of Conservation Voters (LCV)
- Mobilify Southwestern Pennsylvania
- Moms Clean Air Force
- Philadelphia Solar Energy Association
- Plug In America
- Public Citizen
- Sierra Club
- Tri-State Transportation Campaign
- Union of Concerned Scientists
What do you think of this effort to boycott Toyota and make them see reason when it comes to electrification?