Toyota New Zealand CEO Neeraj Lala will continue to collaborate with the New Zealand Government on the forthcoming Clean Car Standard legislation, which will see fines introduced for manufacturers unable to meet strict C02 targets.
In a statement, Lala reiterated the brands position that lower emissions isn’t purely about fully electric vehicles, but also hybrids, hydrogen fuel-cell tech, car sharing, and other emerging fields.
“There is no silver bullet when it comes to reducing transport sector emissions, we believe in investing in new technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells, car sharing, and Mobility as a Service, all as ways of lowering emissions and reducing transport congestion,” he said.
“Our challenge when it comes to transitioning to a low carbon transport future is availability of product, affordability to everyday Kiwis, and maintaining high standards of safety technology that is critical for our local road conditions.”
In the release, Lala noted that the recent addition of a 63g emissions target was “a surprise” to Toyota. With the brand’s popular commercial line-up and its lack of pure electric vehicles (the recently unveiled bZ4x will be here in 2022), Toyota and others will likely struggle to meet this target.
“The 105g targets, presented by the Climate Change Commission and in the Emissions Reduction Plan, are consistent with the communication we’ve had over the past two years, while the 63g presented came as a surprise,” Lala added.
“The future is unpredictable, so it’s important we focus on a variety of solutions to lower emissions. We see a range of options to leave no customer behind on our pathway to lower emissions.”
The statement notes that Toyota’s position is to focus “on providing low emissions mobility for all New Zealanders, leaving no customer behind”; seemingly an indirect acknowledgement that pure electric vehicles aren’t affordable to all customers just yet.
Lala’s announcement dovetails with the chief executive’s presentation to the Select Committee yesterday. NZ Autocar reported yesterday that representatives from Ford, Hyundai, and Mazda rallied against the Clean Car Standard in its existing form in their discussions with the Select Committee.
Mazda New Zealand product manager Tim Nalden said the Clean Car Standard in its current form is “complex, overly punitive and unrealistic with its assumptions”, adding that it should instead be “slightly after Europe” in its severity, “because of course they lead the world”.
“We are trying to leap-frog and that’s not going to happen, unfortunately. We are joined at the hip for 90 per cent of our vehicles with Australia. Until Australia moves in this direction, to get that certification for New Zealand and procure these vehicles – it is almost impossible.”