CAL EPA Chief Calls on Toyota to Stop Crushing Electric Cars

Dr. Lloyd adds his voice to recent statements by the Sierra Club and California State Senator Sheila Kuehl.

Published: 09-Jun-2005

The growing effort to keep electric cars alive in California received a major boost today as, the Campaign to Save Electric Cars, made public a letter from Dr. Alan Lloyd, California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary, to Yukitoshi Funo, Toyota US Corporate President, calling on the Japanese automaker to allow leaseholders and others to purchase existing RAV4 EV electric cars. Hundreds of these zero-emission, zero-gasoline vehicles were sold and leased in California in 2002 and 2003. Toyota, however, refuses to sell most of these vehicles despite repeated requests. Instead, Toyota continues to destroy these electric cars, the cleanest cars Toyota ever produced.

Dr. Lloyd cited "increased incentives [to the automakers] for extended leases and options to purchase as part of the 2003 ZEV program amendments," as well as "California consumers...desire for clean cars," as two reasons for Toyota to reconsider its decision to remove these vehicles from California's roads."

Noting that the "public image of Toyota is high" for its perceived committment to meeting California's environmental goals, he added "I would hate to see a decision by Toyota on this issue tarnish its image."

In calling on Toyota to stop crushing its most environment-friendly cars, Dr. Lloyd adds his voice to recent statements by the Sierra Club and California State Senator Sheila Kuehl.

Last month the Sierra Club, called on the automakers to "cease destroying the remaining battery electric vehicles held by their customers." The statement added, "While Ford has changed its policy and has stopped crushing its electric cars and trucks, Toyota and General Motors have been crushing the vehicles after their leases expire.""

Sen. Sheila Kuehl's letter to Mr. Funo requested that "Toyota re-evaluate the systematic destruction of existing Electric Vehicles."" She emphasized that Toyota "did accept tens of millions of taxpayer dollars," yet "the company is now destroying the very cars subsidized by taxpayers.""

RAV4 EV leaseholders who do not want to move backward to gasoline have repeatedly requested the right to purchase their cars. Despite having sold hundreds of RAV4 EVs, Toyota has refused the requests of these satisfied customers." Toyota has also ignored repeated requests to meet with to discuss the matter." is a group of RAV4 EV drivers, former EV1, EV+ and Th!nk City lessees, and clean air and energy independence advocates. It is supported by the Electric Auto Association, Rainforest Action Network, Global Exchange, Sierra Club, Earth Resource Foundation, Environment Now, and Earth Communications Office.

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