TO THE EDITOR:
In February, it was reported that electric vehicle sales to date have surpassed $1 trillion globally. Over half of buyers worldwide say they want their next car to be electric, according to EY.
Toyota's incoming CEO has the opportunity to overhaul the company's electrification plans. But I hesitate to believe that Koji Sato will "revamp the carmaker's slow-going electric vehicle strategy" ("Next Toyota CEO says reforming EV strategy is his new team's top priority," autonews.com, Feb. 13).
Sato must ditch Toyota's anti-EV position and abandon his multipath approach, which treats EVs only as an option. Without those changes, the company will continue to fall behind by producing polluting internal combustion vehicles.
Once a green technology leader, Toyota has only one battery-electric vehicle and was ranked by InfluenceMap as the automaker with the worst impact on climate policy globally for two years running due to its anti-EV lobbying. Toyota plans to sell only 3.5 million EVs annually by 2030 — one-third of its current annual sales. This was Akio Toyoda's strategic vision. As he moves to chair Toyota's board, I hope he doesn't stand in the way of progress.
During Sato's press conference announcing his leadership team, he said EVs will be a priority moving forward. He did not suggest a zero-emission future at the company.
Until Sato commits Toyota to end its anti-climate lobbying and phase out combustion engines, including hybrids, it will lag in the race to a zero-emission future. To remain competitive, Toyota's leadership must change lanes on EVs.
EAST PETERSON-TRUJILLO, Clean vehicles campaigner, Public Citizen,Washington, Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization.