"Carbon is the enemy, not any particular powertrain."
Toyota has announced it is moving up its emissions goals for Europe, now aiming to be carbon neutral on the continent by 2040 instead of its original 2050 goal. But unlike other manufacturers which have pledged to go electric to make it happen, Toyota is adamant that a mix of hybrid, electric, and hydrogen is the best way to achieve these ambitions.
The updated goals were announced at Toyota Motor Europe's (TME) annual Kenshiki forum this week, which saw the company's executives outline the plan.
The company outlines that all new vehicles in the EU, Great Britain, and the EFTA should be emission-free by 2035. Toyota's European production facilities will also be emission-free by 2030. It wants to realize this by minimizing energy requirements wherever possible, switching to regenerative sources, and implementing Kaizen (continuous improvement) innovations to eliminate CO2, like integrating the second-generation fuel cell components used in the Toyota Mirai into very different vehicles, including hydrogen pickup trucks.
"Our focus in Europe is on two areas: carbon neutrality and how to achieve it in all our business areas, and the shift towards a holistic mobility service provider and the associated mobility of the future," said Matt Harrison, President, and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe.
Toyota says it's looking to employ a technology-driven approach worldwide to meet the customer's needs and desires while also working towards its own goals. This means more hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, pure electric cars, and also hydrogen cars, be those fuel-cell or hydrogen combustion. Building up the supply chain is going to be an important feature of this, and Toyota says diversity is going to play a crucial role due to the lack of infrastructure and scarcity of materials.
"We must do what is best for the environment: get the greatest possible CO2 reduction from every battery cell produced by replacing as many non-electrified vehicles with electrified ones as possible," says Dr. Gill Pratt, Chief Scientist at Toyota Motor Corporation and CEO of the Toyota Research Institute. "We are guided by a simple principle: CO2 is the enemy and not a specific drive train,"
Toyota wants to transition into a "holistic mobility service provider" instead of just an automaker and sees this happening with a three-pronged approach.
First, Toyota wants Software Defined Architecture that sees the 'Arene' software being designed before the hardware is developed to ensure technology is at the core of the company's products. It also wants to see the continuous improvement of its "Advanced Drive" tech for improved safety and automated driving.
Finally, Toyota has created a new proving ground near Mount Fuji in Japan that will be a testing lab that will accelerate the company's mobility tech, smart agriculture, clean energy, and healthy living.
Not everyone has been happy with what the company has done so far, but Toyota is confident in its strategy. Toyota expects to sell 1.1 million vehicles in Europe this year which will be a record 7.3% increase over the previous year. Leading the drive are the electrified models accounting for two-thirds of sales, concrete evidence that a climate-focused plan is what the people want and that the company's plans are working.