Tokyo, 14 December 2021 – In response to Toyota’s announcement that they committed to end sales of internal combustion engine vehicles for the Lexus brand by 2035 globally and a new plan in fully electric vehicles, Greenpeace Japan released the following statement from our campaigner who was in attendance.

Daniel Read, Climate & Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Japan

We welcome the announcement that Toyota’s luxurious brand finally set a sufficiently progressive timeline to end the sale of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, as well as for all factories to be carbon neutral by 2035. However we are disappointed that the main brand which sells the largest volume of vehicles in the world still does not have a goal to end the sales of ICE vehicles. 

In response to criticism about being not sufficiently forward-facing on EVs, CEO Akio Toyoda argued that their new global EV sales target of 3.5 million was ambitious and forward facing. However, this 3.5 million global sales of battery EV in 2030 would still only account for 35% of Toyota sales, and only available for the US/China/EU markets. It is still behind other automakers, such as Honda (80% in China and US by 2035, 100% globally by 2040) and General Motors, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz who commit to selling 100% zero emission vehicles in leading markets by 2035.

Akio Toyoda continues to blame the energy mix. In fact, battery electric vehicles have a competitive carbon emission advantage in Japan, and also in countries where carbon intensity is similar, such as South Korea and Italy. Toyota should influence the governments to adopt more renewable energy. Greenpeace’s upcoming study finds that phasing out ICE by 2030 would also encourage both positive economic growth and create employment, contrary to warnings given by Toyota.

Toyota is offering a lot of options to consumers to ensure their cars could still sell anywhere in the world, however the climate crisis is urgent, which leaves us very little options. Instead of being a trendsetter, Toyota chooses to be a follower of consumer trends and government energy plans to continue their business in an ever more competitive market for carbon neutrality technologies. Toyota should shoulder the responsibility as the world’s largest automaker should.