Environmental Groups Are Boycotting Toyota Over Its Stance on EVs

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Ever since the advent of the Prius, Toyota has been a brand associated with green energy. For many years, environmentalists praised Toyota’s hybrid technology, and its potential for drastically cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
However, life comes at you fast, and while Toyota was busy perfecting the hybrid, electric cars have become increasingly popular. Over the last few years, Tesla has become the new poster child for green vehicles.
To make matters worse, in an attempt to protect its investments in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell technology, Toyota has been aggressively lobbying governments to delay EV progress.
As a result, some environmentalists are now calling for a boycott of Toyota. They claim that by opposing the mass adoption of electric cars, the Japanese carmaker is on the side of climate change deniers and big oil.
A red Toyota sign on the outside of a building
Toyota’s apparent stance on EVs have rubbed some people the wrong way.

Toyota’s reputation takes a hit

Toyota is undoubtedly behind the times when it comes to the electrification of its fleet. Rather than working to develop a battery electric vehicle, Toyota gambled that it would take decades for world leaders (and the general public) to completely ditch gas.
Once it happened, Toyota reasoned, their hydrogen cell fuel technology would be ready to go, and in the meantime, plug-in hybrid electric cars would fill the void.
However, thanks largely to the success of Tesla, electric cars have already taken off, with record sales across the U.S., Europe, and China. In fact, only Toyota’s home market of Japan has seen a decline in EV sales, year over year.
Rather than change tact, Toyota is stubbornly sticking with hybrids and hydrogen, and looking to slow down its competitors through lobbying efforts. 
As reported by Electrek, Toyota has been using its money and influence to oppose the federal EV incentive program here in the U.S., and even sided with the Trump administration in efforts to stop California from imposing stricter emission standards.
Toyota has also been caught donating to the re-election efforts of government officials who support the continued use of fossil fuels and deny the existence of global warming. 
Considering the goodwill afforded to Toyota by environmentalists over the last 20 years, it marks a sharp downturn in the company’s green credentials.

Who is boycotting Toyota?

Electrek reports that Paul Scott from Plug In America is leading the boycott efforts, even going so far as to stage a protest at Toyota’s flagship Santa Monica location.
Scott says, “The climate clock is ticking and we have to start hitting polluters where it counts–in the money...Car sales people loathe losing a single sale and they hate bad publicity. Toyota deserves every bit of it because they are keeping us addicted to gasoline.” 
Several prominent environmental organizations have joined Scott in speaking out against Toyota, including the Center for Biological Diversity, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.
These groups have written to Toyota’s North American CEO, Ted Ogawa, threatening further action unless the company reconsiders its anti-EV stance.
Whether or not Toyota pays any attention remains to be seen, but unless it’s careful, the company could find itself hemorrhaging sales as the EV revolution really takes off.

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