8 September, 2022 – Nissan and Honda fell three places in Greenpeace East Asia’s latest auto industry ranking due to their slow transition to zero-emission vehicles. The two automakers were trailed only by Toyota, which received the lowest score for the second year in a row.

“Global sales of electric vehicles more than doubled in 2021, but progress has been uneven. In particular, Toyota, Nissan and Honda are lagging far behind their competitors in the transition to zero-emission vehicles. In 2021, 499 out of every 500 vehicles that Toyota sold were powered by fossil fuels – a shockingly high rate. There is a lot of hype around electric vehicles right now, but the reality on the ground is that traditional automakers are not doing nearly enough to transition to zero-emission vehicles,” said Greenpeace East Asia Project Lead Ada Kong.

The ranking evaluates the world’s ten largest automakers on their phase-out of combustion engine vehicles, supply chain decarbonisation, and resource reduction and efficiency. The findings are based on Greenpeace analysis of MarkLines data.

#Rank(↑ # or
↓ #)*
CompanyOverall score
(out of 100)
2021 ZEV sales %
1General Motors38.58.18%
2 (↑5) Mercedes-Benz37.03.82%
3 (↓1) Volkswagen33.35.21%
4 (↑4) Ford23.51.40%
5 (↓1) Hyundai-Kia22.33.49%
6 (↓3) Renault20.36.69%
7 (↑2) Stellantis19.32.86%
8 (↓3) Nissan13.42.20%
9 (↓3)Honda12.80.35%
*indicates change of place from Auto Environment Guide 2021

Key Findings

– Global sales of electric vehicles more than doubled in 2021,
but progress has been uneven across automakers and geographies. [1]

– Nissan and Honda both fell three places compared to last year’s ranking
due to their slow transition to zero-emission vehicles and weak climate targets.

Toyota received the lowest score in the ranking for the second year in a row. Zero-emission vehicles comprised just 0.2% of Toyota’s total sales in 2021, compared to 8% for General Motors and nearly 7% for Renault. The company’s score was also affected by its lobbying efforts against climate-friendly legislation.

General Motors and Mercedes-Benz received the top scores in this year’s ranking, but both companies continue to sell fossil fuel vehicles at a rate that exceeds Paris Agreement goals.

Hyundai-Kia has fallen from fourth to fifth place in large part due the company’s lackluster combustion engine vehicle phase-out. Hyundai-Kia’s steel decarbonisation plan received high marks, but its benefits were offset by an SUV-intensive business strategy, which drives steel consumption.

Auto companies have relied heavily on the Chinese market to increase sales of zero-emission vehicles. In the first half of 2022, 96% of General Motors’ zero-emissions vehicles sales occurred in China, compared to just 3% in the US.

Greenpeace urges automakers to adopt ambitious zero-emission vehicle transition strategies across all markets. Automakers should end the sale of combustion engine vehicles in Europe by 2028 and in the US, China, Korea, and Japan before 2030. The transition to zero-emission vehicles must be implemented alongside investment in battery recycling, decarbonisation of the steel supply chain, and a just transition for auto industry workers.

“The climate crisis is already here, and we are increasingly feeling the impacts. Just last month Toyota suspended manufacturing operations in western China due to record-setting heatwaves. The world’s biggest auto brands need to recognize their own contribution to the climate crisis and commit to a full transition to zero-emission vehicles within the decade,” said Kong. 

Media briefing is available here. Full report is available here.



[1] Here the term “electric vehicle” refers to BEVs and FCEVs.

Media Contacts:

Erin Newport, International Communications Officer, Greenpeace East Asia (Taipei), +886 958​ 026 791, erin.newport@greenpeace.org

Mitsuhisa Kawase, Senior Communications Officer, Greenpeace Japan, [email protected]