Automakers have found themselves caught in the middle of the Trump administration and Californian government's dispute over car emission regulations. In September, California lawmakers sued the Trump after it tried to prevent the state from having more stringent emissions regulations on cars than the federal government.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Nov. 18 that new purchases of cars made by Toyota, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler will be banned by California starting in January 2020, after those automakers supported the Trump administration's attempt to prohibit California from further regulating emissions.

Environmentalist and journalist Bill McKibben spoke with Boston Public Radio on Tuesday about the California car feud.

"Some of [automakers'] business models are just so built right now around more SUVs," McKibben said. "It really is outrageous because this is a place where good policy coincides with good economics, and in the long run these companies need and benefit from a measured prod to move in the right direction."

Those who are angered by Toyota's siding with President Trump can taken greater action than just switching automaker allegiance, McKibben said.

"One shouldn't get lost in the notion that we're going to solve this thing one Prius at a time," he said. "The most important thing an individual can do at this point is be a little bit less of an individual and join together with others in the movements that really can change things.