Toyota announced the launch of 15 models of battery-powered electric cars worldwide by 2025, to expand the company’s electric vehicle lineup to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050.
The company said it would increase the number of its electric models to about 70 from the 55 currently on the market.
Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp. indicated a shift in its stance on climate change on Monday, saying it would review its pressure and be more transparent about the steps it is taking, as it faces increasing pressure from environmental activists and investors.
The automaker came under scrutiny after siding with the Trump administration in 2019 in an effort to stop California from setting its own fuel-efficiency rules. “We will review the public policy participation activities through our company and industry associations to ensure that they are in line with the long-term goals of the Paris climate agreement,” Toyota said in a statement, adding that the measures will be announced by the end of this year.
The automaker also confirmed that it “will strive to provide more information so that stakeholders can understand its efforts to achieve carbon neutrality.”
Four funds with asset management are pressuring about $ 235 billion on Toyota ahead of its annual shareholder meeting in June to support international efforts to prevent global warming.
“This move should not be a PR exercise, but rather it signals a clear end to its role in the negative climate pressure that has given it a backward status,” CEO of the Danish Pension Fund AkademikerPension told Reuters.
A Danish pension fund spokesman, Troels Boreleld, said AkademikerPension will consider preparing a shareholder resolution to present at next year’s annual general meeting if “Toyota fails to fulfill its obligations”. The fund will consider selling its Toyota holdings if there is no change, but the spokesman said the fund officials did not think it would reach this point.
Munch Holst noted that “thus far, the company has repeatedly undermined climate action, from opposing the UK government’s ban on internal combustion engines by 2030 to opposing auto fuel economy standards in the United States.”
A Toyota spokeswoman told Reuters it would need more time to respond to Munch Holst’s comments. Other investors are the Church of England Pensions Board, Swedish AP7, and Norwegian Storebrand (STB.OL).