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Toyota lobbies Australian government for loopholes in fuel efficiency standards

Toyota is a tireless anti-electrification campaigner—the world’s largest automaker is also the world’s third most diligent lobbyist against climate and clean air regulations, according to data compiled by InfluenceMap—behind only oil giants Chevron and ExxonMobil.

As Toyota falls farther behind its competitors in the e-mobility market, it spreads misinformation about EVs and actively lobbies against pro-electrification policies around the world.

According to LobbyMap (registration required), Toyota came out against pro-EV policies in California in May 2022, in the UK in September 2021, and in New Zealand in March 2021.

The latest front in the rearguard battle is Australia, where the government has proposed a Fuel Efficiency Standard as part of its National Electric Vehicle Strategy. In public comments submitted to the government, Toyota said it “supports a national fuel efficiency target…with stretch but achievable targets,” but also called for a “technology-agnostic approach” (hybrids and fuel cells?), as well as “super credits” and “off-cycle credits,” which EV advocates describe as loopholes designed to obscure car manufacturers’ true emissions.

Global corporate accountability group Ekō (formerly SumOfUs) sounds skeptical, saying that Australia risks becoming a dumping ground for polluting petrol cars if automakers get to set the agenda for new regulations.

“Toyota’s announcement is an encouraging sign the Australian government is serious about catching up with the rest of the world and delivering cheaper, cleaner cars for Australians,” said Ekō campaigner Nish Humphreys. “But in announcing further industry consultation to help design the standard, the government must not hand a blank cheque to companies like Toyota which have consistently attempted to thwart strong policy across the world.”

According to The Driven, EVs made up less than 0.2% of Toyota’s global production in 2022, and the company didn’t sell a single EV in Australia in that year.

Source: Ekō

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