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Toyota ranks 'dead last' in international green car ranking report

·Environment Editor
·3-min read
While Toyota was ranked last by Greenpeace, the corporation says it is committed to achieving carbon-neutrality. Source: Getty
While Toyota was ranked last by Greenpeace, the corporation says it is committed to achieving carbon-neutrality. (Source: Getty)

Australia’s top-selling car maker, Toyota has been ranked “dead last” by Greenpeace in its 2022 global green car rankings.

Released on Thursday, the Auto Environmental Guide 2022 ranked 10 major auto manufacturers, with none achieving a passable score.

Despite only achieving 38 out of 100 General Motors was crowned the top performer ahead of Mercedes Benz and Volkswagen.

The “average performers” on the list were Ford, Hyundai-Kia, Renault and Stellantis, while Honda, Nissan and Toyota were the lowest-ranked.

Corporations were scored across four categories:

  • Sales of zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs)

  • Phasing out of internal combustion engines (ICEs)

  • Supply chain decarbonisation

  • Resource reduction and efficiency.

What were the report’s key findings?

  • Overall market share sales of ZEVs have doubled during the last five years

  • General Motors and Honda sold most of their ZEVs in China

  • Manufacturers actively lobby against climate change commitments

  • Sales of SUVs are growing, despite them using one-quarter more energy than medium-size cars

Toyota responds to ‘dead last’ ranking

Responding to the report, Toyota said it is “focused on achieving a long-term and sustainable future” and has the “ultimate goal of carbon neutrality”.

Despite Greenpeace placing significance on electric vehicles, Toyota said it will not be limited to a “single technical solution”, although it does plan to release 30 new battery-powered models in Australia by 2030.

Greenpeace ranked 10 of the world's top auto manufacturers. Source: Greenpeace
Greenpeace ranked 10 of the world's top auto manufacturers. Source: Greenpeace

“Having a diverse approach to electrification, with the aim of reducing carbon emissions, is important because Australians have vastly different motoring needs,” a spokesperson said.

Hybrid vehicles remain a point of contention with Toyota continuing to champion the technology and Greenpeace describing it as “outdated”.

The Prius was introduced in 1997, and Toyota remains the largest supplier of hybrid vehicles in the nation - it’s sold over 290,000 since 2001.

Greenpeace doubles down on Toyota criticism

Criticism of Toyota internationally contrasts with the corporation’s public image in Australia, with pollsters Roy Morgan ranking it as the nation’s most trusted car maker, and ninth overall trusted brand.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific campaigner Violette Snow told Yahoo Finance Australia she is concerned Toyota could work to stall negotiations on a national electric vehicle strategy and the adoption of fuel efficiency standards.

She points to a separate report by Greenpeace Australia Pacific which alleges Toyota is one of the “world’s most aggressive anti-climate lobbyists”.

“We think Australians would be concerned to learn that one of their favourite carmakers is holding back climate action internationally,” Ms Snow said.

Why green car rankings matter

With the target of net zero emissions by 2050 increasingly accepted by governments around the world, corporations will face increasing pressure to lower their carbon footprint.

Transportation is a major global polluter, contributing 24 per cent of direct carbon emissions from fuel combustion. Passenger vehicles are the largest emitter, making up 45 per cent of the total, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

In Australia, data for the March quarter found climate pollution had increased, with emissions up 1.5 per cent to 487.1 million tonnes.

Growing by 5.4 per cent in emissions, transportation was responsible for the biggest increase.

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