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10,000 Toyota drivers sign petition urging company to commit to EVs: ‘Put our future before your profits’

Tesla’s Elon Musk and Toyota’s Akio Toyoda shaking hands in Palo Alto, CA cir. 2010. [Credit: Associated Press]

Over 10,000 Toyota drivers have signed a petition with over 110,000 signatures urging the Japanese car maker to embrace electrification efforts and stop “lobbying to prevent electric vehicle mandates and clean air laws.”

10,500 of the 110,000 signatures come from current Toyota customers who are displeased with the company’s lack of commitment to developing sustainable powertrains. Toyota, which pushed against mandates for zero-emissions guidelines by 2035 in the past, committed to a 100 CO2 reduction in Europe by 2035. However, InfluenceMap analysts have stated Toyota is working harder than any other automotive company to stagnate progress on electric vehicles. It plans for only 14 percent of its total production to be electrified by the end of the decade. Toyota would miss its commitments to the Paris Agreement.

In NovemberInfluenceMap listed Toyota as the third-most negative and influential company against climate policies, following only ExxonMobil and Chevron. A month later, Toyota announced its plans to transition a minimum of 50 percent of its vehicles in Western Europe to zero-emissions by 2030:

“Moving beyond 2030, we expect to see further ZEV demand acceleration, and Toyota will be ready to achieve 100% CO2 reduction in all new vehicles by 2035 in Western Europe, assuming that sufficient electric charging and hydrogen refueling infrastructures are in place by then, together with the renewable energy capacity increases that will be required.” – Matt Harrison, President & CEO Toyota Motor Europe.

It is not up for much debate whether Toyota was committed to EVs a year ago because their plans simply did not include a dedicated lineup of sustainable vehicles. Instead, Toyota focused on hydrogen fuel cell powertrains.

Despite Toyota making changes to its EV plans and even unveiling the new bZ4X in mid-April, owners are still not wholly convinced of the company’s commitments and are urging the automaker to take a more serious tone when it comes to electrified options.

Toyota officially launches the bZ4X, its first full EV in nearly a decade

On a petition titled “Toyota is Fueling the Climate Crisis,” 110,044 people have signed as a recognition of their discontent with the company’s EV commitments. InfluenceMap’s latest review still has Toyota as the top carmaker lobbying against ambitious climate and clean air laws.

“Laggard automakers, such as Toyota (D) and Nissan (D+), which are forecast to have the lowest percentage of zero-emissions fleet-wide vehicle production in 2029 (14% and 22% respectively), also have the most negative climate policy engagement,” the report said.

Amongst the signees, comments regarding the company’s relatively lackluster plans have catalyzed a number of owners to consider axing the company altogether if it doesn’t make a more solidified commitment to sustainability. “We own a Prius and a Corolla and are loyal Toyota customers, however, we are disappointed and upset that Toyota is not supporting a zero-emissions target in the EU,” one person who signed the petition said. “Please put our future before your profits and support the EU emissions goals. Otherwise, many loyal customers like us will stop buying Toyotas and move to other brands that are more environmentally responsible.”

“I drive a Prius, and I am telling you to stop lobbying against extending our use of fossil fuels…You must realize you are ruining the future of our children. I will sell your car if you persist in this idiocy,” another comment said.

Toyota continues to put out EV production projections, which are lofty and, as the world’s largest car manufacturer, seem to be considerable. However, Toyota still maintains the fastest way to reduce CO2 emissions is through hybrid vehicles and not rapid electrification. Toyota has massive plans to expand to around 70 electrified models by 2025, but only 15 of these will be fully electric.

Seven of the fifteen will feature the bZ brand moniker. “his diverse portfolio of electrified products will help propel Toyota toward its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050,” the company said in April. “Globally, Toyota has put more than 20 million electrified models on the road – with a CO2 emissions reduction effect equivalent to the CO2 emissions reduction of over 5.5 million BEVs. Over the next nine years, Toyota will invest $70+ billion in electrified vehicles as a whole with the target to launch 3.5 million BEVs globally in 2030.”

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10,000 Toyota drivers sign petition urging company to commit to EVs: ‘Put our future before your profits’
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