The Japanese automakers want to show that electrification isn't the only way to achieve carbon neutrality.
The electric car revolution is coming, with many car companies pledging to become all-electric brands by the end of the decade as part of a wider strategy to become carbon neutral and help save the environment. To show that electrification isn't the only way to achieve carbon neutrality, Toyota, Subaru, and Mazda are doing things differently.
The three Japanese automakers are joining forces with Kawasaki and Yamaha to explore alternative, more eco-friendly fuel options that will keep the combustion engine alive while still achieving carbon neutrality and offering customers greater choice as the industry shifts towards electrification.
To achieve carbon neutrality, Mazda will build new plug-in hybrid models that will join its existing lineup of conventional hybrids and battery electric vehicles like the MX-30. In addition, Mazda plans to enter the Q class of the Super Taikyu Race in Okayama, Japan, with the Spirit Racing Bio concept Demio, a concept race car equipped with a 1.5-liter SkyActiv-D diesel engine that runs on 100 percent biomass-derived diesel fuel.
Subaru and Toyota, meanwhile, are experimenting with cars powered by carbon-neutral synthetic fuels derived from biomass. In the ST-Q class of the 2022 Super Taikyu Series, Subaru plans to race a BRZ and Toyota intends to use a GR86 running on synthetic fuels.
Since 2016, Toyota has also been working with Yamaha, Denso, and other parties to develop a hydrogen engine for a race car that entered the Fuji Super TEC 24 Hours Race, the Super Taikyu Race in Autopolis, and the Suzuka S-Tai. Toyota is also working with local governments to expand the options for producing, transporting, and using hydrogen.
At the same time, Subaru and Toyota are expanding their electrification options with the launch of the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra EVs in mid-2022. Meanwhile, Kawasaki and Yamaha are considering the possibility of joint research for the development of hydrogen engines for motorcycles.