The Prius Didn’t Make Toyota Green

Photo: Toyota
Photo: Toyota

The Toyota Prius is the iconic hybrid vehicle in the American hivemind. We’ve had others, sure, but the Prius spent so many years as the shining example of eco-friendly transportation. How could we see the company behind it as anything but the greenest automaker around?

A new report from Heatmap shows that’s exactly the case — Americans largely think of Toyota as one of the most sustainable automakers. The outlet surveyed folks back in November for data on the topic, and only Tesla beat Toyota in the perceived sustainability ranking. Yet, Heatmap says, Toyota’s actions don’t back up that perception:

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And to drive the point home, Toyota has also actively worked against emissions regulations, repeatedly lobbying against such efforts. In 2021, the company settled with the U.S. government for $180 million for failing to comply with Clean Air Act regulations. Hino, a truck- and bus-making division of Toyota, was caught falsifying engine emissions data going back decades.

Give the full piece from Heatmap a read, as it gets into some interesting analysis about why Toyota is seen as so much more eco-conscious than the company really is — and why other automakers, with objectively better environmentalist bona fides, are still stuck playing catch-up.

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