Toyota emphasizes gas engine project as a ‘realistic’ approach to achieving carbon neutrality

A recent statement by the chairman of Toyota reveals that the automaker is embarking on a new project, although specifics were not shared. The chairman emphasized that hybrids and internal combustion engines (ICE) still have a role to play in achieving carbon neutrality goals. Former Toyota CEO and current chairman, Akio Toyoda, announced that the company has received approval to begin a project focused on engine development. It is expected that high-performance ICEs will be a key part of Toyota’s plans in 2024. The approval for the project was granted by current CEO Koji Sato and other executives.

Toyoda did not provide further details about the initiative but reiterated his stance on electric vehicle (EV) adoption. He highlighted the importance of hydrogen and the need for a smooth transition to electrification. Toyoda emphasized that BEVs are not the only solution to achieve carbon neutrality and expressed his enthusiasm for cars and the challenges they present.

The development of advanced combustion engine technology is aimed at combating carbon emissions while also protecting jobs in the ICE manufacturing sector. Toyoda acknowledged that many people in Japan’s automotive industry, around 5.5 million, depend on part production for ICE vehicles. He expressed the importance of supporting these individuals and ensuring that their skills are not wasted.

Toyota has previously advocated for a gradual transition to electric technology, despite being the pioneer in hybrid vehicles with the Prius. In a document sent to dealerships, the company identified three major barriers to widespread BEV adoption: the demand for critical minerals needed for EV batteries, the lack of charging infrastructure, and affordability concerns. Toyota believes that a renewable economy would require less mining and extraction due to the absence of fossil fuel extraction. They also argue that with a fully charged car every morning, fast charging needs are limited but widely available. Additionally, they highlight the cost of the Model 3, which is approximately $37.5k after EV credit.

Overall, the chairman’s statement and Toyota’s stance on engine development indicate their commitment to finding solutions for carbon neutrality while considering the importance of existing jobs and the gradual shift to electric technology.

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