Toyota has avoided signing a zero-emissions pledge that promises to phase out fossil-fuel cars by 2040. Six other major automakers agreed to the Glasgow Declaration on Zero Emission Cars and Vans including Ford, General Motors, Daimler and Volvo. Interestingly, Volkswagen also refused to commit to the pledge despite their continued heavy investment in EVs.
A Toyota spokesperson told Reuters that concerns over customer readiness, energy availability and charging infrastructure in Asia, Africa and the Middle East all lead to their decision to not sign the deal. However, in other regions such as Europe and North America Toyota is “ready to accelerate and help support with appropriate zero-emission vehicles."
“In many areas of the world such as Asia, Africa, Middle East ... an environment suitable for promoting full zero emission transport has not yet been established. We think it will take more time to make progress ... thus, it is difficult for us to commit to the joint statement at this stage."
Toyota plans to launch their first mass-produced, globally available EV next year – the bz4x. Powered by a 71.4 kWh battery pack, Toyota claims the bz4x will be good for around 280 miles of WLTP range. Yet another all-electric crossover, the bz4x is expected to go toe-to-toe with the likes of the Volkswagen ID.4 and Nissan Ariya. A Subaru equivalent, the Solterra, will be based off the same platform and will also go on sale in mid-2022.