Toyota Could Be up to Some Shady Behind the Scenes Dealings to Slow EV Growth

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Many automakers are rolling out new concept electric vehicles (EVs). Dodge, an automaker that tends to focus on performance and power, made waves when an electric performance concept was announced.
Other automakers, such as Honda and GM, have partnered to accelerate their release of EVs. Some companies have committed to phasing out gas-powered vehicles completely.
With so many automakers making similar announcements, it may seem surprising that one of the first companies to release an electric car is lagging behind. Toyota released its Prius hybrid in 1997, but it seems that the automaker hasn’t done much since in terms of electrification.
Closeup of driver’s hand on a steering wheel with Toyota logo on it
Toyota has been hesitant to commit to electric vehicles.

Toyota has been accused of trying to slow EV adoption

Toyota was one of the first automakers to start moving toward EVs, but they’re now lobbying against legislation that would push consumers toward electric cars.
According to The Verge, top Toyota executives have met with U.S. congressional leaders to lobby against the Biden administration’s plans to incentivize the sale of EVs. They have also met with lobbying groups in Washington, DC, and argued against the California Compromise.
The California Compromise allows individual states to set emissions standards of their own. California has a tougher standard than most states. The Trump administration tried to strip states of that power, but the Biden administration reversed the rule. This means that automakers have to meet the strictest state-level standards to sell across the U.S.
Toyota has also argued against EV-friendly policies in India and Japan.

Why is Toyota lobbying against EVs?

Toyota’s CEO, Akio Toyoda, has called electric vehicles “overhyped,” according to The Verge. Toyoda said that the emissions from power plants cancel out any good done by EVs.
Toyota was one of the Republican Party’s biggest corporate donors in 2020. The company has sided with the Trump administration on issues related to EVs and emissions.
The automaker also believes that federal and state incentives should include hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell technology. Hybrid vehicles can be an important starting point for consumers looking to switch to EVs.
But, it might just boil down to the fact that Toyota has fallen behind in the EV game.

Toyota is behind other automakers in the shift to electric

It might be a shock that Toyota has fallen behind since they were the first to introduce anything like an EV. Before Tesla, Toyota had the Prius hybrid, which proved that alternative powertrains could be viable. Toyota paved the way for Tesla, which now dominates the industry.
While Toyota has plans to release battery-electric and hybrid models by 2025, they are far behind the competition. Several automakers have already released fully electric cars. GM, another legacy automaker, has the Chevy Bolt EV.
If Toyota wants to stay relevant in the auto industry, they have to catch up; either by investing more in EVs or hydrogen fuel cell technology.
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