Toyota Motor

InfluenceMap Score
D-
Performance Band
46%
Organisation Score
41%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Automobiles
Head​quarters:
Toyota City, Japan
Brands and Associated Companies:
Hino Motors , Daihatsu Motor, Toyota Financial Services
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

Climate Lobbying Overview Toyota is actively engaged with a variety of climate policy streams globally. Despite positive top-line messaging on climate, the company in 2019-21 has consistently opposed regulatory efforts to increase the stringency of emissions and fuel economy standards for vehicles across various regions globally. Furthermore, despite support for limited measures to decarbonize the transport sector, Toyota has at times been highly negative on policy mandating the electrification of the automotive sector, appearing to promote an extended role for hybrid vehicles and opposing the long-term phase-out of internal combustion engine-powered vehicles.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Toyota’s top-line messaging on climate change is broadly positive and largely focused on its 2050 Environmental Challenge commitments. According to Toyota’s website in 2021, the company appears to be supportive of the need to cut GHG emissions, although it is unclear whether the company supports economy-wide emissions reductions in line with IPCC recommendations. In a March 2019 article on the company’s website, Toyota appeared to signal its preference for technological solutions to address climate change over regulatory action. At a press conference held in April 2021, Toyota’s president, Akio Toyoda, appeared to show broad support for Japan’s long-term climate neutrality targets, while suggesting there is no sole path in achieving this goal and that Japan needs an expansion/mix of technology options for GHG reduction. Furthermore, Toyota’s April 2021 climate neutrality statement states support for the Paris Agreement. At a September 2021 press conference, Toyota’s President emphasized competitive disadvantage concerns for Japan around climate regulation, appearing to support less ambitious action.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Toyota has actively engaged with policymakers on various climate-related regulations. In the United States, Toyota was part of a group of companies which wrote a letter to President Donald Trump in June 2019 proposing a weakening of CAFE and GHG standards for vehicles. In October 2019, the company intervened in a legal case to support the removal of California's ability to set its own GHG emissions standards under the state’s Clean Air Act waiver, as part of a coalition of automakers. As of February 2021, Toyota has withdrawn from this litigation. In a September 2021 consultation response to US GHG emissions standards for light-duty vehicles, Toyota stated support for the mid-range proposal for 2023-26 GHG emissions standards for vehicles, in between Trump and Obama-era standards. Toyota opposed the high-range proposed standards, alongside advocating for numerous flexibilities to weaken the stringency of the regulation.

At a September 2021 press conference, Toyota’s CEO, Akio Toyoda, appeared unsupportive of Japanese GHG emissions targets before COP26, appearing to suggest they are ”not based on the reality of Japan”. Toyota also signaled its opposition to carbon taxes in Japan on its website in March 2019, arguing that they would result in raised electricity prices, loss of international competitiveness, and decreased economic growth.

In a 2021 March consultation response from Toyota to New Zealand’s climate action plan, Toyota appeared to oppose government proposed 105g CO2/km emissions standards for light-duty vehicles, advocating for a significantly less stringent 130g CO2/km target. In the same response, Toyota appeared to support a New Zealand Emissions Trading System for road transport, although at the expense of more stringent emissions regulations.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Toyota in 2019-21 appears to have consistently supported a long-term role for hybrid vehicles in the transport sector over battery electric vehicles at a global level. In Japan, Toyota emphasized the higher carbon footprint for Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) production compared to gasoline cars in a September 2020 presentation given by Toyota for a Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry committee meeting. According to a report by Sentaku magazine in December 2021, Toyota has also disseminated books criticizing EVs to Japanese media and the government. In November 2021, the Weekly Economist further reported that Toyota had organized briefing sessions for the Japanese media with the purpose of discouraging reporters from writing positively about EVs. In the US, in March 2021 Toyota provided evidence to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, appearing to emphasize the difficulties of electrifying road transportation and advocating for policymakers to widen their policy decarbonization focus beyond BEVs to include hybrid vehicles. . More generally, a July 2021 statement from Toyota’s CEO, Akio Toyoda, further appeared to support a long-term role for ICE-powered vehicles over the electrification of transportation. While announcing a new 2030-35 BEV strategy in December 2021, Toyota maintained its position that different national energy situations require “a variety of carbon neutral-options”, and advocated for a continued role of ICE technology in global markets

Toyota has consistently opposed national policies to phase out internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles globally. In the US, a Toyota US blog post from July 2021 appeared to oppose specific measures to electrify transportation, including the phase-out of ICE powered vehicles and EV mandates. In Japan, at an April 2021 press conference, Toyota CEO, Akio Toyoda appeared unsupportive of Japanese phase-out dates for gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles. In the UK, Toyota Europe CEO Johan Van Zyl signaled in December 2020 the company's preference for a longer timeline for the phase-out of hybrids in the UK than the 2035 date legislated by the government. Similarly, in New Zealand (NZ), both a March 2021 op-ed from the Toyota NZ chief executive and a Toyota consultation response to NZ’s Climate Change Commission, opposed a recommended 2035 NZ ban on new petrol and diesel car sales. Media comments from a Toyota Australia executive in April 2021 also appeared opposed to the electrification of transportation, stating that “we simply cannot achieve carbon neutrality by only producing electric vehicles” as “more than half the electricity generated by 2040 will still be powered by fossil fuels.” Similarly, in November 2021, Toyota did not sign a global pledge made at COP26 to phase out ICE-powered vehicles in leading markets by 2035 and globally by 2040. A spokesperson stated to Reuters that it did not commit to the pledge as in "many areas of the world ... an environment suitable for promoting full zero emission transport has not yet been established" and that "it will take more time to make progress". In another November 2021 Japan Times news report, the company stated that there were “many ways to approach carbon neutrality” other than the deal, emphasizing regional differences and the challenges associated with infrastructure for EV and fuel cell vehicles in developing economies.

Regarding wider EV policies, an August 2021 press statement from Toyota US appeared supportive of a newly proposed voluntary US 40-50% electric vehicle sales target (including hybrids) by 2030. However, in September 2021 Toyota sent a letter to the US House Ways and Means Subcommittee to oppose new US purchase incentives for electric vehicles, arguing they unfairly prioritized union-built vehicles and would provide tax breaks to the wealthy, while appearing to support a general US EV tax credit.

Regarding the energy mix in Japan, at a December 2020 press conference, Toyota’s Chair suggested that if EVs replaced existing cars, an increase in the energy demand will require higher additional infrastructure investment, emphasizing concerns around capacity and cost of transitioning to EVs. However, while comments from Toyota’s CEO Akio Toyoda at a JAMA press conference in March 2021 appeared supportive of measures to promote renewables and decarbonize Japan’s energy sector, additional communications from Toyoda in September 2021 at another press conference emphasized the costs of a renewable energy transition in Japan. Similarly, in a December 2021 interview, Akio Toyoda stressed that promoting electric vehicles should depend on the energy situation in each global region, emphasizing the high emissions of Japan’s power sector, and suggesting EVs in Japan would produce high carbon emissions.

Industry Association Governance: Toyota appears to have mixed transparency over its indirect influence through industry associations. In December 2021, Toyota published its first review of its industry association memberships and their alignment on climate change. The company did not identify any cases of material misalignment. Toyota retains high-level positions in several regressive trade associations, including Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA), where Toyota President Akio Toyoda is chairman, Keidanren, where Toyota Vice Chairman Shigeru Hayakawa is Vice Chair of the Board of Councilors, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), where Toyota Europe Chairman Didier Leroy is a board member, and Alliance for Automotive Innovation where a Toyota executive is chair of the board in 2021. Toyota subsidiaries also retain membership to several other associations, including the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) in the US, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) in the UK, and the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) in India.

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How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.