Toyota to stop selling petrol cars
TOKYO — Toyota, under ambitious environmental targets, is aiming to sell hardly any regular gasoline vehicles by 2050, only hybrids and fuel cells, to radically reduce emissions.
The automaker promised to involve governments, affiliated companies and other “stakeholders” in its push to reduce average emissions from Toyota cars by 90 percent by about 2050, compared with 2010 levels.
Electric cars weren’t part of their vision, outlined by top Toyota officials at a Tokyo museum on Wednesday last week, striking a contrast with rivals such as Nissan, which has banked on that zero-emissions technology.
Toyota’s commitments come at a time when the auto industry has been shaken by a scandal at Germany’s Volkswagen, in which it admitted it cheated on diesel emissions tests covering millions of cars.
Toyota projected its annual sales of fuel cell vehicles will reach more than 30 000 by about 2020, which is 10 times its projected figure for 2017.
Fuel cells run on hydrogen and are zeroemissions. Toyota’s Mirai fuel cell went on sale late in 2014. Toyota has received 1500 orders for the Mirai in Japan, and it just went on sale in the US and Europe.
Annual sales of hybrid vehicles will reach 1.5 million and by 2020 Toyota would have sold 15 million hybrids, nearly twice what it has sold so far around the world, it said.
Hybrids switch back and forth between a petrel engine and an electric motor to deliver an efficient ride.
The Toyota Prius, which went on sale in 1997, is the top-selling hybrid, with about 4 million sold globally so far. Toyota is promising to develop a hybrid version in every category, including usually fuel-guzzling sportutility vehicles, as well as luxury models.
‘Pretty extraordinary’ Senior managing officer, Kiyotaka Ise, told reporters:
“You may think 35 years is a long time but for an automaker to envision all combustion engines as gone is pretty extraordinary.”
Ise acknowledged some gasoline engine cars would remain in less developed markets, but only in small numbers.
He and other Toyota officials insisted on the inevitability of their overall vision, stressing that the problems of global warming and environmental destruction made a move toward a hydrogen-based society a necessity.
Experts agree more has to be done to curtail global warming and pollution, and nations are increasingly tightening emissions standards.
But they are divided on whether all gasoline engines will disappear, or they’ll stay on, thanks to greener internal combustion engines, as well as the arrival of clean diesel technology.
Tatsuo Yoshida, senior analyst at Barclays Securities Japan in Tokyo, said Toyota’s goals weren’t far-fetched.
Confident in achieving its goals He said: “The internal combustion engine is developing and metamorphosing into hybrids. Toyota has been working on this technology for a long time. When officials speak out like this, it means they are 120 percent confident this is their scenario.”
As part of its environmental vision, Toyota also promised to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from production lines during manufacturing in 2030 to about a third of 2001 levels.
Toyota said it will develop manufacturing technology that uses hydrogen, and will use wind power at its Tahara plant, both by 2020.
It also promised to beef up various recycling measures, including developing ways to build vehicles from recycled ones. — AP
Toyota Prius is the top-selling hybrid car.