Toyota is trying to keep the Biden administration from introducing BEV-only leaning measures. Local media reports the Japanese corporation was lobbying behind closed doors to include more FCEVs and hybrids in the policy mix.
Toyota was once one of the leading car brands in terms of electrification with the Prius, but in recent times the competition has caught up. By now, “Toyota has gone from a leading position to an industry laggard” in clean-car policy even as other automakers push ahead with ambitious electric vehicle plans, according to Danny Magill, an analyst at InfluenceMap, a London-based think tank that tracks corporate climate lobbying.
When asked about the policy, a spokesperson for Toyota explained that the company is in no way opposed to battery-electric vehicles, but thinks that the transition will take longer than estimated. “We agree and embrace the fact that all-electric vehicles are the future,” Toyota spokesman Eric Booth said. But Toyota thinks that “too little attention is being paid to what happens between today, when 98 per cent of the cars and trucks sold are powered at least in part by gasoline, and that fully electrified future.”
In addition to Toyota’s efforts on their own, rumour has it that the company is pushing back against emissions-free regulation with their involvement in the auto industry’s main DC-based lobbying group, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation. Additionally, it was recently revealed that Toyota was the largest corporate donor for the Republican party, which famously is battling to keep to coal industry alive and repeatedly publicly denied climate science.
The argument Toyota is presenting is not a bad one – the energy industry direly needs a revamp to reflect cleaner technologies, which is taking surprisingly long considering that solar power is the most affordable to produce. The battery and chip bottleneck situation is also certainly slowing the spread of electric vehicles across the planet, however, the argument would be more convincing if the company had not supported the Trump administration in sueing California over emissions standards, and lobbied against BEVs in Japan and India. Toyota eventually dropped their support for the Trump administrations attack on California’s right to enforce emissions regulations, however, it seems that the Japanese carmaker has some catching up to do on emissions-free vehicles.
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