Nanny state EV diktats are driving environmental, financial folly – by Derek H. Burney (National Post – July 25, 2023)

Governments tamper with consumer choice at their peril

Toyota president Akio Toyoda, grandson of the company’s founder, recently expressed a view seldom heard from auto executives these days. He said he was standing up for a “silent majority (in the auto industry that) is wondering whether EVs are really OK to have as a single option (for car buyers).”

Companies like Honda and GM have set dates for when their lineups will be exclusively EV. Governments in Canada and the United States have set arbitrary dates for similar action. Toyoda would prefer to offer a variety of environmentally friendly, hybrid-electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles along with more traditional gas-powered automobiles.

He wants to serve customers in regions of the world where charging infrastructure is inadequate, and much electricity is generated by carbon-emitting fossil fuels. “Certain groups seek to use the name of the environment but what I’m preaching is based on the reality of users in a number of markets.”

Reality for Toyoda is regrettably heresy to climate evangelists. Attacks followed swiftly from regulators, environmental groups and shareholders in Scandinavia, New York and California. Several U.S. and European ESG-induced funds sought to remove Toyoda from his board seat, citing governance issues and the role he played in preventing the automaker from going exclusively to electric vehicles. He retained his seat with an 85 per cent majority.

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