The recent handover of Toyota Motor’s leadership has raised wide speculation as to whether the global auto champion will finally make a pivot to EVs. What often goes unnoticed, however, is the fact that its subsidiary trading company, Toyota Tsusho, is serving as the vanguard, aggressively expanding its renewable energy portfolio to become Japan’s top player both in wind and solar. After the latest acquisition is completed, the company will have over 4 GW of renewable capacity worldwide.
This kind of scale will see the Toyota group overtake financial services group Orix Corp, which claims it’ll have 3.6 GW of renewable energy capacity globally after taking full control of Spanish utility Elawan this month. Moreover, since the bulk of Toyota’s solar and wind projects are in Japan, it should also make the group by far the biggest player in the domestic renewables industry.
Importantly, the move will help Toyota Motor achieve its highly ambitious goal of eliminating CO2 emissions throughout the entire vehicle life cycle. In a 2021 climate commitment, Toyota also vowed to attain carbon neutrality at all its global manufacturing plants by 2035. Having captive renewables capacity will be one way to hit that target.