Toyota outlines its path to 100% CO2 reduction by 2035 at recent Kenshiki forum
Toyota outlines its path to 100% CO2 reduction by 2035 at recent Kenshiki forum

Toyota Motor Europe (TME) communicated the latest news on its European business strategy, company’s vision, new products and technology developments at the recent Kenshiki event for media.

Kenshiki means insight in Japanese, and this year’s event focused on TME’s commitment to carbon neutrality, the acceleration of its electrification plan and its active role in building a hydrogen economy.

During the main plenary briefing, Toyota executives explained the company’s strategy to reach carbon neutrality as quickly as possible, while minimising carbon emissions during the journey to neutrality.

The goal of minimising carbon emissions will be achieved by accelerating electrification and offering a diverse range of CO2 efficient powertrain solutions to all its customers.

In the coming years, Toyota say they will roll out an increasing number of practical and affordable zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs), with the new Toyota bZ4X electric SUV being the latest model to be launched and will arrive in Ireland next summer.

By 2030, the ZEV sales mix is anticipated to be a minimum of 50% in Western Europe, with the capacity and capability to further increase should customer demand go even higher.

The brand's latest hydrogen fuel cell technology in two different configurations
The brand’s latest hydrogen fuel cell technology in two different configurations

Matt Harrison, President & CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, said:

“Moving beyond 2030, 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 refueling infrastructures are in place by then, together with the renewable energy capacity increases that will be required.”

Gill Pratt, TMC Chief Scientist & TRI CEO, further explained that the path to carbon neutrality is most efficiently based on diversity of powertrain solutions due to the wide diversity of markets around the world, stemming from three key factors: diverse nature of energy sources across regions, the different transportation needs of people and thirdly, the imperative to maximise the Carbon Return on Investment to ensure that use of scarce battery raw materials is optimised.

“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, with the proportions of each optimised to make best use of the infrastructure constraints and customer circumstances of every region, and the limited supply and improving performance of batteries.”

More details of Toyota’s battery strategy were shared by Gerald Killmann, Vice President of TME R&D, following the recent global announcement of its €11.5 billion battery investment strategy.

Commercial production has started on the world’s first bi-polar NiMh battery which, as well as using less precious minerals, is lower in cost with double the output density of a regular NiMh battery.

By applying similar techniques to Li-Ion batteries, combined with further efficiencies in vehicle energy consumption, Toyota expects to see a 50% reduction in battery cost per vehicle, without deteriorating range, in the second half of the 2020s, making battery electric vehicles more affordable and accessible.

On the introduction of solid-state batteries, Mr Killmann confirmed that following prototype testing last year, they will likely be first introduced in hybrid electric vehicles before wider deployment, including battery electric vehicles, with the aims of delivering higher output, longer range and shorter charging times.

Toyota will accelerate electrification and offer a range of CO2 efficient powertrain solutions to customers
Toyota will accelerate electrification and offer a range of CO2 efficient powertrain solutions to customers

Steve Tormey, Chief Executive, Toyota Ireland, said:

“Our self-charging hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are consistently improving with each new generation and we are looking forward to providing even more electrified offerings for our customers, such as the highly anticipated bZ4X battery electric vehicle. With our relentless commitment to ensuring a better planet for all along with our commitment today to a 100% reduction in CO2 by 2035, we look forward to making a profound difference in the automotive world in the coming 15 years.”

TME expects to deliver 1.07 million vehicles in 2021, for an estimated 6.3% market share – a new record and an increase of 80,000 units compared to 2020. In 2022, TME is planning to sell around 1.3 million vehicles for a 6.5% market share – another new record.

Underpinning the anticipated 230,000 sales growth between 2021 and 2022 will be the arrival of new models like the bZ4X, the Aygo X, the GR86 and the Corolla Cross.