Toyota clashed with shareholders over its slow EV rollout

Toyota Not bowing to the pressure of shareholders to more sincerely embrace the electric vehicle.

“We cannot limit our choices [of our customers]Because Toyota really serves customers worldwide and in different regions, ”said Masahiko Maeda, Executive Vice President.

Reported by comments Nikkei AsiaMr Maeda said the company’s goal was to be carbon neutral and not commit to phasing out combustion-engine vehicles.

Toyota says it believes different markets will take “different paths” for decarbonization and is committed to offering a wide range of eco-friendly vehicles, including the EV and its popular hybrid.

It is also argued that EVs are not suitable for some markets.

However, the self-proclaimed giant Danish pension fund AkademikerPension, a shareholder, has been criticized for its explicit lobbying efforts against electric vehicles.

The Danish company says that through this lobbying activity, Toyota has tried to “weaken the legitimate efforts of governments around the world to phase out internal combustion engines and fuel economy standards and, critically, to pure electric vehicles.”

“In our view – and in the eyes of many other investors – the lobbying work adopted by Toyota Motor has given the company the status of a global leader in climate action in the auto sector,” said Anders Schelde, CEO of AkademikerPension.

“Public statements have increased pressure on national governments to weaken EV policies and have repeatedly blocked the use of behind-the-scenes vehicles by businesses to ban non-electric vehicles,” he said.

“This endangers the valuable brand of Toyota to the detriment of the interests of the shareholders.”

The fund alleges that it tried to submit a shareholder resolution at Toyota’s annual general meeting this year, but was rejected simply because it missed an undisclosed submission deadline within a day.

AkademikerPension is not the only shareholder to express concern about Toyota’s lobbying efforts.

“Opposing Toyota’s strong EV and climate policy poses a significant reputation risk, and it conflicts with efforts to emerge as a ‘green’ automaker,” said Brad Lander, regulator of the New York City office. Nikkei Asia.

New York Times Toyota reported last year that it had sent Chris Reynolds, a senior executive in charge of public affairs, to lobby against aggressive conversions to electric vehicles in favor of a bigger role for hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in Washington DC.

The automotive giant was not only a hybrid pioneer, but also a trailblazer in the hydrogen fuel-cell field.

Later technology, however, was not welcomed with the same open arms as battery electric vehicles due to lack of infrastructure.

FCEV’s one-sided investment in battery-electric vehicles has left the company behind rivals in launching the latter.

Although it has offered some electric conversions to existing vehicles, such as an electric C-HR for China, its first clean-sheet EV will be the new bZ4x, entering production this year.

Nissan and Tesla launched their first dedicated EV more than 10 years later.

New York Times Toyota has reportedly lobbied against stringent emissions standards in markets such as the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and Australia, and has donated to politicians who reject the scientific consensus on man-made climate change.

Toyota has argued that stopping the sale of combustion vehicles is not getting enough attention in all discussions around the market, in the short and medium term, where it says its hybrid vehicles could help significantly reduce emissions.

It is reasonable to assume that government policies designed to reduce sales of combustible vehicles will harm the entire Japanese automotive industry.

“Policies banning petrol and diesel vehicles from the outset will limit these options and force Japan to lose its competitive edge,” CEO Akio Toyoda said last year.

Not only was Toyota the world’s best-selling automaker last year, it remained the number one brand in a diverse market, such as Australia, Nigeria and Vietnam.

This means that it is the best-selling brand in a large number of markets where there are no electric vehicle incentives or sales targets, let alone federal emission standards.

Toyota has announced a raft of 30 electric vehicles by 2030, led by bZ4x, with a goal of selling 3.5 million EVs annually by 2030.

In this context, the company sold 10,495,548 cars worldwide in 2021, of which 8,912,949 were Toyota-branded cars.

The plan, announced late last year, represents a significant increase over the previous plan of selling two million EVs by 2030.

Although most Japanese brands have not promised to stop selling combustion-powered vehicles, Honda said last year that it would sell only electric and fuel-cell vehicles by 2040.

Honda was the seventh largest automaker in the world in terms of sales last year, and another company that has invested heavily in hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles over the years. However, it has recently discontinued its only FCEV, Clarity.

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