Toyota boss doesn’t want to ban internal combustion engine
European and Korean automakers are pushing ahead with the next generation of cars, but Japan’s biggest automaker is not so convinced.
The world boss of Toyota is not in favor of banning gasoline and diesel cars.
Akio Toyodo recently told reporters that “carbon is our enemy, not the internal combustion engine”, taking a different stance from that of European manufacturers.
The remark refers to some jurisdictions such as the European Union banning the sale of internal combustion engines from 2035 in favor of fully electric vehicles.
This is part of the EU’s drive to significantly reduce carbon emissions by at least 55% from 1990 levels by 2030 and to have net zero emissions by 2050.
Toyoda claims that Japan has been successful in reducing carbon emissions over the past 20 years through hybrid vehicles. He says hybrids have contributed to a 23 percent reduction in vehicle emissions over the past two decades.
Hybrids use a conventional gasoline engine combined with a small battery and an electric motor to reduce fuel consumption. Toyota offers a hybrid model in almost all of its vehicles in Australia and many customers experience long wait times for delivery, such is their popularity.
Toyoda says companies need to maximize the technology they have now to immediately cut emissions.
Automakers such as Hyundai, Kia, and Volkswagen will spend billions on the development of electric cars over the next decade.
Toyota has been slower to respond.
The Japanese giant only unveiled its first dedicated EV concept, dubbed bZ4X, only at the Shanghai Motor Show earlier this year.
The company plans to launch seven bZ models globally by 2025.
Currently, Toyota offers around 55 electrified models around the world. By 2025, the range will be extended to around 70 models, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery-electric and fuel cell vehicles. About 15 of them will be pure electric vehicles.
Competitors such as Hyundai are far ahead of Toyota with two electric vehicles – the Ioniq and the Kona EV – already on the market. The first of the next generation of electric vehicles, the exciting Hyundai Ioniq 5, arrives here later this month.
European markers like Volkswagen and Mercedes are going full steam ahead towards electrification.
Toyota is also developing hydrogen vehicles such as the Mirai Fuel Cell vehicle. A fleet of Mirais is hired in Australia to test the technology, which converts hydrogen into electricity.
Hyundai also has a fleet of Nexo Fuel Cells vehicles tested in Australia.