Toyota forced Japanese authorities to equate hybrids with electric vehicles
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Toyota forced Japanese authorities to equate hybrids with electric vehicles

The Japanese authorities had to change the key document that defines the “roadmap” to improve the environmental friendliness of transport and reject internal combustion engine-only cars. According to a representative of local parliamentarians speaking at a meeting of the ruling party, the Toyota boss bluntly stated that automakers could not support the government’s plan to reject hybrids.

    Image source: Christina Telep/unsplash.com

Image source: Christina Telep/unsplash.com

In the document defining the production policy, the wording had to be changed “electric vehicles” on the “so-called electric cars” – Thanks to this, hybrid-powered cars have effectively received the same status as battery-electric vehicles, although environmentalists strongly oppose such changes. However, the final version of the roadmap now assumes that Japan will only sell electric vehicles and hybrids on the local market from 2035 onwards.

Recently, Japanese automakers have come under intense pressure from environmentalists and “green” investors for slowing the transition to battery vehicle production. According to Akira Amari, a former Minister of Industry and a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, the latter, in a conversation with Toyota President and Chair of the Japan Automobile Industries Association (JAMA) Akio Toyoda, called for an overhaul of the economic roadmap because JAMA cannot support a government that opposes hybrids .

According to Amari, the use of synthetic fuels, including hydrogen, will make hybrids 100% green and the document should state this clearly. Otherwise, according to the parliamentarian, JAMA promised to exert pressure on the authorities with all the forces available to the association.

Toyoda emphasized that synthetic fuel hybrids are a boon for the environment because they are extremely energy efficient. Amari confirmed that synthetic fuels could also be used in aviation, which cannot be said for electricity (probably due to the weight of the battery). In a statement, JAMA reiterated its intention to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 without being tied to any particular technology.

    Image source: Sava Bobov/unsplash.com

Image source: Sava Bobov/unsplash.com

Toyota is the world’s top-selling automaker and insists that the problem for the environment isn’t internal combustion engines, it’s fossil fuels. Aside from once popularizing hybrid technologies, the company is a leader in developing hydrogen solutions, but isn’t developing as successfully in the all-electric car niche.

The company is regularly criticized for its commitment to internal combustion engines. That’s what environmentalists from InfluenceMap called it the worst of the big car manufacturers to advocate a moderate climate policy. Toyota has even been criticized by its own investors, and the Danish pension fund AkademikerPension sold most of the company’s shares last year for environmental ideological reasons.

And last year, Toyota decided to allocate $60 billion to electrify its cars by 2030, with half of that money going towards the development of clean electric vehicles. However, the company continues to argue that hybrids are important in markets where the infrastructure isn’t ready for a rapid transition to battery vehicles.

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Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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