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Toyota is planning to reduce its carbon output by 100% by 2035 in Western Europe, primarily by using hybrids and hydrogen fuel cells, rather than pure EVs.
Detailing a range of environmental pledges, the Japanese automaker says that it will have “at least” 50% EV mix by 2030 with the “ability to further increase if customer demand is higher.”
Toyota is also planning to start manufacturing hydrogen fuel cell models in Belgium to service the continent.
“Moving beyond 2030,” says Matt Harrison, President & CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, “we expect to see further ZEV demand acceleration and Toyota will be ready to achieve 100% CO2 reduction in all new vehicles by 2035 in Western Europe, assuming that sufficient electric charging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructures are in place by then, together with the renewable energy capacity increases that will be required.”
Toyota reckons its best bet to lower its carbon emissions is by accelerating the electrification of its lineup and offering a “diverse range of CO2 efficient powertrain solutions.”
Next year should see the release of the bZ4X EV in Europe and Toyota hopes that, by 2030, 50% of the models it sells in Western Europe will be zero-emission.
“Whilst Toyota is committed to making millions of Battery Electric Vehicles available to customers, the way to reduce the most net carbon emissions globally is to use every item in our toolbox, including Hybrid Electric, Plug-in Hybrid Electric, Battery Electric and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles,” says Gill Pratt, TMC Chief Scientist & TRI CEO.
The proportional mix of each powertrain type will depend on the “infrastructure constraints and customer circumstances of every region, and the limited supply and improving performance of batteries,” he continues.
However, Toyota also expects battery prices to drop by around 50% per vehicle, without deterioration in range in the second half of the decade – leading to more affordable vehicles. The company also plans to introduce solid-state batteries into hybrid electric vehicles following successful pilot testing last year.
The company is being more ambitious with fuel cell models, however, and is planning to start production of its second-generation fuel cell modules in Brussels from January – claiming that it sees “demand growing significantly” across Europe.
These new cells are more compact and lighter whilst providing improved power density.
Leading the hydrogen charge is a new GR Yaris model which shares the same powertrain as the Corolla Sport currently racing in Japan’s Super Taikyu series.
The car uses a 1.6-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged engine but with a modified fuel supply and injection system for use with hydrogen.
“We’ve taken the first step to compete with and develop our hydrogen-powered engine with the mindset of taking on the challenge. I imagine things will look a little different 10 years from now, and I hope people will look back and see how we took on the challenge with positivity and enjoyed every moment of it,” says Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota.