Empact: Toyota’s Green Vision for Equitable Sustainable Mobility

In 2021, Toyota launched an initiative called “Empact”. By integrating the dual principles of “environmental impact” and “empowering action,” this multifaceted initiative focuses on three pillars: ensuring equitable access to charging infrastructure, offering affordable mobility solutions, and mitigating carbon emissions.

Empact initiative overview

Toyota‘s “Empact” addresses the pressing need for equitable access to sustainable transportation solutions, particularly in underserved communities where access to such resources may be limited. By focusing on providing affordable mobility options and infrastructure development, Toyota aims to bridge the gap between those who can readily adopt electrified mobility and those who face barriers to entry. By championing sustainability and social equity principles, Toyota demonstrates its commitment to corporate responsibility and recognizes the interconnectedness between environmental health, social justice, and business success.

Pioneer communities

Toyota, in collaboration with EVgo—a public fast charging network—has chosen Baldwin Park and Sacramento in California as the first communities to benefit from the ‘Empact’ initiative. These communities will soon be equipped with 8-stall high-power 350kW DC fast chargers, to be installed by EVgo,. This is a significant step towards Toyota’s commitment to support underserved communities in their transition to electric vehicles (EVs), and it’s a beacon of hope for a greener, more sustainable future.

Related:US Charging Infrastructure: Innovations and Initiatives

Christopher Yang, Group Vice President of Business Development at Toyota, emphasized the company’s dedication to providing “Mobility for All.” He highlighted the importance of not overlooking underserved communities in the EV transition. He stated, “We want to help ensure these underserved communities are not overlooked in the EV transition, and providing support for these charging facilities helps provide access to those who may not have easy access to home or public charging options.”

The selection of Baldwin Park and Sacramento was informed by criteria such as resident income levels, demographics, air quality, and anticipated EV penetration. These areas, identified using the CalEnviroScreen tool, represent communities poised for rapid EV growth. In Sacramento, the chargers will be located near Arden Fair Mall, a bustling area with numerous amenities. At the same time, the Baldwin Park station will be centrally situated near Interstate 10, offering convenience to residents and travelers.

Related:How One State is Trying to Upgrade EV Infrastructure

Impact and benefits of sustainable mobility

Revenue generated from this program, particularly through California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, has been reinvested into transportation electrification, including the deployment of these chargers. Local officials, such as Senator Susan Rubio, expressed enthusiasm for the new charging infrastructure, highlighting its benefits for reducing emissions, improving air quality, and stimulating economic growth in their communities. Rubio stated, “Investing in public charging not only supports EV drivers, it also benefits everyone in our community by encouraging zero emissions travel in an area that has experienced historically poor air quality,” said Senator Susan Rubio. “This new fast charging station in Baldwin Park will bring economic and public health benefits that our residents and visitors alike can enjoy.”

Initiatives like Empact exemplify the pivotal role that corporate responsibility plays in shaping a more sustainable and equitable future. Beyond mere profitability, initiatives like Empact underscore the broader societal benefits of sustainable mobility solutions, from reducing emissions and improving air quality to promoting economic growth and enhancing quality of life.