Toyota ranks last in race to transition to EVs: Greenpeace

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The Japanese automotive giant has been ranked second in the group’s environmental protection rankings for the second year in a row.

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According to a Greenpeace report, Toyota is in last place among the world’s top automakers in the race to transition to zero-emission vehicles.

The world’s largest automaker occupies last place in the rankings released Thursday for the second consecutive year, followed by other Japanese brands Honda and Nissan, both down three positions from the previous year.

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General Motors ranked first in the 2022 Automotive Green Guide for its decarbonization efforts, with electric vehicles (EVs) accounting for just under 8.2 percent of total sales.

Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen ranked second and third, respectively, in the transition to electric vehicles, followed by Ford, Hyundai-Kia, Renault and Stellantis.

Greenpeace ranked the world’s top 10 car manufacturers on three dimensions: phasing out combustion engine vehicles, decarbonizing the supply chain, and reducing resources and efficiency.

[Courtesy of Greenpeace]

The environmental advocacy group said progress in the auto industry has been uneven despite sales of electric vehicles more than doubling last year.

While electric vehicles accounted for 8.18% and 6.69% of total sales for General Motors and Renault respectively last year, that figure fell to 0.18% for Toyota, while overall sales in the United States lagged behind markets such as China.

“In 2021, 499 of every 500 vehicles sold by Toyota ran on fossil fuels—a shockingly high number,” said Ada Kong, Greenpeace East Asia Project Manager.

“There’s a lot of hype around electric vehicles right now, but the reality is that traditional automakers aren’t doing enough to transition to zero-emission vehicles.”

A Toyota spokesman said the automaker is committed to achieving carbon neutrality, noting that the company is investing 8 trillion yen ($55.6 billion) as part of its efforts to achieve annual electric vehicle sales of 3.5 million by 2030.

“In terms of manufacturing, we announced in 2021 that we will achieve carbon neutrality in all of our factories around the world by 2035,” an Al Jazeera spokesperson said.

“We continue to promote the introduction and daily improvement of innovative technologies, as well as the introduction of renewable energy sources and the use of hydrogen. In particular with regard to renewable energy, we are implementing 100% renewable electricity at all plants in Europe and South America. Efforts are ongoing in various regions.”

Greenpeace said automakers must adopt ambitious emission reduction strategies for all markets with the goal of phasing out sales of combustion engine vehicles in Europe by 2028 and in the US, China, Korea and Japan by 2030.

“The climate crisis is already here and we are increasingly feeling its effects,” Kong said.

“Just last month, Toyota suspended manufacturing operations in western China due to record heat. The world’s biggest automotive brands must recognize their contribution to the climate crisis and commit to fully moving to zero-emission vehicles within a decade.”

Al Jazeera has contacted Honda and Nissan for comment.

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