Toyota to Leave UK if Government Bans Hybrids
Toyota has threatened to stop manufacturing in the UK if the government goes ahead with its plans to ban the sale of hybrid cars from 2030. The Japanese automaker told government officials that the ban would constrain “manufacturing, retail and other business activities” as well as “future investment.”
According to Telegraph, the document sent by Toyota to the UK government reads “if the government adopts an SZEC [significant zero emission capability] requirement that causes an early end to the sale of new full hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle sales in 2030, there would be an impact on a number of areas”. The automaker told Transport Secretary Grant Shapps about its concerns for the plan’s transition phase. According to the document, Toyota also pushed back against ministers’ plan to have manufacturers increase the percentage of EVs sold until 2035.
As part of its net-zero strategy, the government has banned the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2030, allowing greener hybrids to be sold until 2035. The mandate imposes targets requiring a rising percentage of automakers’ new sales to be zero emission models from 2024. Carmakers are set to incur hefty fines if they don’t comply.
According to a government spokesperson, “We’ve committed to ensuring all new cars and vans sold in the UK are zero emission at the tailpipe by 2035″. He went on to add that “vehicle manufacturers and supply chains play a vital role in the transition to cleaner vehicles and we continue to work closely with the industry to help shape future regulations.”
Further legislations will be announced later this year, but it is expected that all but the newest plug-in vehicles will be banned, impacting the likes of Toyota’s 12th gen Corolla hybrid. The vehicle is made at Derbyshire’s Burnaston plant, which is one of Toyota’s two factories in the UK. With a total investment of £2.75 billion, Burnaston – alongside Toyota’s engine factory in Deeside, North Wales – employs around 3,000 people.
Toyota, which is the fourth largest manufacturer in the UK after Nissan, Jaguar Land Rover and Mini, has claimed that its hybrid models were less polluting than petrol and diesel cars. The Japanese automaker said its response to government consultations “covered many details” and that it would continue discussions with the UK Government, with whom Toyota shares the ambition to “make progress towards zero emission.”