Environmentalists are calling for people to boycott Toyota for seemingly using its money and influence to slow down the electric vehicle (EV) progress. According to Electrek, while other automakers have doubled down on their EV transformation, Toyota staunchly stood by its hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles.

The automaker was accused of actively slowing down the collective EV progress through lobbying efforts. For example, in the US, it is opposing the newly announced federal EV incentive programme form, which removes the limit on the number of vehicles per manufacturer that benefit from incentives. The incentives come in the form of discounts, which are passed on to customers as savings.

Toyota claimed to have opposed the reform on the grounds that EV unions get to make extra money, but apparently, Toyota has lobbied with the US government against the new policy even before a union bonus was involved.

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In a separate matter, Toyota took sides with the Trump administration in a lawsuit to stop California from imposing its own emissions standards that were to be stricter than existing federal ones. It dropped out of the lawsuit when president Joe Biden took over the White House.

Angered environmentalists are calling people to boycott the brand because it “doesn’t want to see reason.” Leading the boycott effort is Paul Scott, founder of EV advocacy group Plug In America. He recently staged a protest at Toyota’s Santa Monica office.

“The climate clock is ticking and we have to start hitting polluters where it counts – in the money. I worked at an EV dealership, although it wasn’t Toyota, and I can tell you that this is our best chance for change, alongside federal legislation. 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,” Scott said.

On September 21, about 15 environmentalist groups joined forces to sign a letter addressed to Toyota, requesting for a sit-down with Toyota Motor North America president and CEO Tetsuo Ogawa to discuss the matter.

“Unfortunately, Toyota’s efforts to lobby Congress to steer away from this vision and pressure members of Congress to reduce funding and oppose tax credits for Americans’ access to zero-emission EVs are putting our nation’s and the world’s transportation and climate future at risk.”

“As a collective group of organisations concerned about the tremendous consequences of such action, we ask Toyota not to stand in the way of Congressional funding of the president’s vision. Instead, we urge you to fully support battery electric vehicle investments in all modes of transportation, and in all related zero-emission EV charging and other infrastructure needs,” the letter read.