Emission standards in the US have changed over the last few years. Attempts to revoke or limit California’s ability to set its own emissions rules are causing uncertainty in the industry. The state is pushing to ban sales of internal combustion engines by 2035, and Toyota will help achieve that plan.
The Japanese automaker has told California and the state Air Resources Council (CARB) that they will recognize that the state can set its own emissions rules. The automaker said in a recent communication with the board that it would recognize “CARB’s leadership in climate policy.” The company “continues to share its GHG vision [greenhouse gas] reductions and carbon neutrality goals” with states and CARB.
This is a reversal for the company that initially supported a rollback to US emission standards in 2019 in an attempt to produce uniform rules across the country. During these turbulent times, Ford, BMW, Honda, and Volkswagen signed agreements with California to meet stricter standards, leading to an anti-trust investigation by the US Department of Justice. General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (now Stellantis) also supported Toyota and the rollback. GM acknowledged state authority earlier this year.
Toyota also said in its announcement that it is “excited about our efforts to expand zero-emissions activities beyond our core vehicle business … and we would like to explore State engagement with these efforts.” California was the first state in the Union to announce plans to end sales of gas-powered cars. However, the country has allies around the world, joining Germany, France and more than a dozen other countries in the ban.
Toyota is behind other automakers when it comes to EVs, launching the bZ4x earlier this year in the US. It is one of the few electric vehicles developed by the automaker. Late last year, the automaker previewed 15 new EVs for the Toyota and Lexus brands, showcasing cars, coupes, crossovers and trucks. They will become very important in California over the next decade.