Toyota is one of the largest and most successful automakers in the world, and Polestar is just an emerging startup selling "niche" cars of the future. However, that didn't stop the EV brand's head of sustainability from targeting Toyota's anti-EV strategy during a recent media event.
Fredricka Klaren, an executive responsible for sustainability at Polestar, has a clear look at what the future should bring, and she shared some words with the media about Polestar's role in it. Klaren also has strong opinions about what other companies should be doing, and she used Toyota as an example of what not to do.
According to Klaren, there's no exception: We must stop burning fossil fuels. Toyota believes that its hybrids are proving more successful at reducing emissions, likely because they're more efficient than standard gas-powered cars, and the automaker sells loads of them. However, no matter how you present the facts, there's no denying that those loads of hybrid vehicles across the globe are spewing harmful tailpipe emissions.
Toyota currently has one fully electric car, and it hasn't been on the market long. The bZ4x was recalled almost immediately, it's short on range, it's pricey, it has racked up plenty of negative reviews, and Toyota has only sold just over 1,200 copies.
To put it into perspective, Electrek writes that the Japanese automaker has contributed less than 1% to US sales of emissions-free vehicles and currently has the worst supply chain for reducing emissions.
Polestar only delivered 50,000 vehicles in 2022, but it's growing and has plans to become climate-neutral as soon as possible.
While talking with the media in Sydney, Klaren made it clear that automakers must be focusing on EVs. She believes there shouldn't be anything mass-produced aside from EVs by 2030. Some fear that even 2030 is too late, and waiting any longer will mean we've completely ignored the science.
Klaren went on to emphasize that there are only seven years remaining before global warming hits 1.5 degrees. She targeted Toyota, saying that its hybrid vehicle technology is simply not enough. The Polestar executive shared:
"To me, you’re still putting gasoline in the car, so don’t focus on that technology at all. If you keep focussing [and] having that in your business plan, you’re not going to level up in the way you need to do in terms of this new technology."
With the leadership of Klaren, Polestar is strongly encouraging automotive companies to work together to help reverse climate change, and sooner rather than later. She suggests companies set their goals and share them with the world. Meanwhile, it seems Toyota and its executives are promoting the opposite.