Toyota, one of the world’s largest automakers, has been quietly moving to slow the transition of automobiles to an all-electric future, according to the New York Times. The company has systematically pressured governments around the world to consider a less drastic change, involving hybrid cars in the plans.
The administration of US President Joe Biden wants to use stricter emissions rules, such as California legislation, to rapidly increase sales of electric vehicles. However, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, an industry lobby group chaired by Toyota executive Christopher Reynolds, opposes the idea.
The company has also made efforts to avoid the adoption of stricter car emissions standards or fight against subsidies for electric vehicles in other markets such as the UK, the European Union and Australia. Executives at Toyota’s Indian subsidiary publicly criticized India’s target of 100% electric vehicle sales by 2030, saying the target was not practical.
While the US Congress studies the approval of billions of dollars to build charging stations, as well as tax breaks for electric cars and trucks, Reynolds held closed-door meetings with lawmakers to show the company’s opposition to an aggressive transition to full-fledged cars. electric.
According to sources familiar with the talks heard by The New York Times, the executive argued that gas-electric hybrids like the Prius and hydrogen-powered cars should play a bigger role.
Last month, the nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics reported found that Toyota was the largest corporate donor to Republicans in Congress who challenged the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. At least 22 of those benefiting also deny the scientific consensus on man-made climate change.
The Japanese automaker pioneered the launch of the Toyota Prius in 1997, the world’s first series-produced hybrid vehicle. More recently, the company has focused on developing hydrogen fuel cells, a technology that has become more expensive than electric batteries and is more viable in hybrid cars.