Toy­ota to stop sell­ing petrol cars

Lesotho Times - - Motoring -

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.

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