Automakers’ 2030 EV forecasts & climate policy engagement scores

The latest analysis by InfluenceMap reveals a concerning disconnect between the world's largest automakers’ advocacy strategies and the urgent need for climate action. The findings from InfluenceMap’s updated Automotive Climate Tool, combined with industry-standard data from the S&P Global Mobility February 2024 Light Vehicle Production Forecast, paint a stark picture: automakers are failing to align with global climate targets, and their lobbying efforts are undermining the transition to electric vehicles (EVs).
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Source: InfluenceMap

The report scrutinises the climate policy engagement of 15 of the world’s largest automakers across seven key regions, highlighting negative lobbying as a significant barrier to effective climate policy and increased EV adoption. A worrying 10 out of the 15 automakers received a final Performance Band grade of D or D+, reflecting advocacy efforts that contradict science-based policies. Notably, Toyota stands out with a Performance Band score of D, the lowest among all analysed companies. Toyota has actively opposed climate regulations in multiple regions, including attempts to weaken GHG emissions standards in the US and Australia, and resist stringent zero-emission vehicle mandates in Canada and the UK.

Falling Short of Climate Goals

The industry’s EV production forecasts are alarmingly inadequate to meet the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) updated 1.5°C scenario. According to the IEA, 66% of all light-duty vehicle sales globally must be electric by 2030 to achieve net-zero targets by 2050. However, InfluenceMap’s analysis of S&P Global Mobility data shows that only 53% of global light-duty vehicles are projected to be electric by 2030, with 44% being battery electric vehicles (BEVs), 9% plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and a negligible 0% fuel cell hydrogen vehicles (FCEVs). Only Tesla (100%), Mercedes-Benz (71%), and BMW (69%) are on track to meet these targets.

Japanese Automakers Lag Behind

Japanese automakers are particularly unprepared for the EV transition, with Suzuki (10%), Honda (24%), Toyota (29%), and Mazda (30%) showing the lowest proportions of forecasted EV production by 2030. These companies, especially Toyota, Mazda, and Suzuki, have also been the most active in lobbying against climate regulations. They have pushed for policies favouring internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, including hybrids, in regions such as Australia, India, and the US.

Industry Associations and Larger Vehicles

Automotive industry associations have played a pivotal role in delaying and weakening key climate rules. In the US, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation has led opposition to ambitious fuel economy and GHG emissions standards, while in Australia, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has campaigned to weaken fuel efficiency standards. Most automakers, except Tesla, are members of multiple industry associations driving this opposition.

The growing production of SUVs and light trucks, which are less fuel-efficient, is exacerbating the climate problem. These vehicles accounted for one-third of global oil demand growth between 2021 and 2022, with production forecasted to rise from 57% of global light-duty production in 2020 to 64% in 2030. Automakers, barring Tata Motors, are expected to increase their production of these larger vehicles, further contributing to higher CO2 emissions.

Call for Regulatory Action

InfluenceMap’s findings underscore the critical need for robust regulatory action to steer the automotive industry towards sustainable practices. The slow transition to EVs threatens to lock in higher oil demand and jeopardise global climate targets. As fossil fuel-powered ICE vehicles continue to dominate, they will perpetuate the climate crisis over their lifespan, with the average age of an EU vehicle now at 12 years.

Tesla, with a Performance Band of B, emerges as a positive outlier, actively supporting ambitious GHG emissions standards and zero-emission vehicle mandates across various regions. Other automakers, like Ford, have also shown positive climate policy engagement, advocating against delays in ICE phase-out.

In conclusion, the automotive industry’s current trajectory is incompatible with global climate goals. Immediate and decisive regulatory measures are essential to ensure a rapid shift towards electric vehicles and mitigate the climate impact of the transport sector.

Source: InfluenceMap

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