Emissions standards in the US have been in flux for the last few years. Efforts to revoke or limit California's ability to set its own emissions rules led to uncertainty in the industry. The state is pushing to ban the sale of internal combustion engines by 2035, and it'll have Toyota helping to achieve that plan.
The Japanese automaker has informed California and the state's Air Resources Board (CARB) that it will acknowledge that the state can set its own emissions rules. The automaker says in its recent communication with the board that it will recognize "CARB's leadership in climate policies." The company "continues to share the vision of GHG [greenhouse gas] reduction and carbon neutrality goals" with the state and CARB.
Gallery: 2023 Toyota bZ4X: Review
This is a reversal for the company that initially supported a rollback to US emissions standards in 2019 in an effort to produce uniform rules across the country. During this tumultuous time, Ford, BMW, Honda, and Volkswagen inked an agreement with California to meet its stricter standards, leading to an anti-trust investigation by the US Department of Justice. General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (now Stellantis) also supported Toyota and the rollbacks. GM recognized the state's authority earlier this year.
Toyota also says in its announcement that it's "excited about our efforts to extend zero-emissions activities beyond our core vehicle business…and we're eager to explore the State's engagement with these efforts." California was the first state in the Union to announce plans to end the sale of gas-powered cars. However, the state has allies worldwide, joining Germany, France, and more than a dozen other countries in the ban.
Toyota is behind other automakers when it comes to EVs, launching the bZ4x earlier this year in the US. It's one of several electric vehicles that the automaker is developing. Late last year, the automaker previewed 15 new EVs for the Toyota and Lexus brands, showing off cars, coupes, crossovers, and a truck. They will become quite important in California over the next decade.