Toyota boss doesn’t want to ban the internal combustion engine

European and Korean car makers are forging ahead with the next generation of cars, but Japan’s biggest maker isn’t as convinced.

Toyota’s global boss isn’t a fan of banning petrol and diesel powered cars.

Akio Toyodo recently told reporters that “carbon is our enemy, not the internal combustion engine”, taking a different stance to European manufacturers.

The remark is in reference to certain jurisdictions such as the European Union banning the sale of internal combustion engines from 2035 in favour of full electric vehicles.

This is part of the EU’s drive to dramatically reduce carbon emissions by at least 55 per cent of 1990 levels by 2030 and to have net zero emissions by 2050.

Toyoda says Japan has had great success in reducing carbon emissions over the past 20 years through hybrid vehicles. He says hybrids have contributed to a 23 per cent reduction in vehicle emissions over the past two decades.

Hybrids use a conventional petrol engine combined with a small battery and electric motor to reduce fuel use. Toyota offers a hybrid model in almost all its vehicles in Australia and many customers experience long waiting times for delivery, such is their popularity.

Toyoda says companies need to maximise the technology they have now to reduce emissions immediately.

Car makers such as Hyundai, Kia and Volkswagen are spending billions in developing electric cars over the next decade.

Toyota has been slower to react.

The Japanese giant only revealed its first dedicated EV concept, dubbed the bZ4X, at the Shanghai motor show earlier this year.

The company plans to have seven bZ models launching globally by 2025.

Currently, Toyota offers about 55 electrified models globally. By 2025, the line-up will be expanded to approximately 70 models including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric and fuel-cell vehicles. About 15 of those will be pure electric vehicles.

Rivals such as Hyundai are far ahead of Toyota with two electric vehicles – the Ioniq and Kona EV – already in market. The first of the next-generation of EVs, the exciting Hyundai Ioniq 5, arrives here later this month.

European markers such as Volkswagen and Mercedes are going full throttle toward electrification.

Toyota is also developing hydrogen-powered vehicles such as the Mirai Fuel Cell vehicle. A fleet of Mirais is being leased out in Australia to test the technology, which converts hydrogen into electricity.

Hyundai also has a fleet of Nexo Fuel Cells vehicles testing in Australia.

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