Akio Toyoda, the CEO of Toyota Motor Corp (NYSE: TM), was recently in Japan racing a hydrogen vehicle at the Okayama International Circuit. A transformed GR Yaris engine that used hydrogen-powered the car. Toyota claims that the vehicle could save several auto jobs. If the motor is made commercially viable, internal combustion engines could remain useful without emitting carbon.
According to Toyoda, the biggest issue is carbon rather than internal combustion engines. Instead of developing new technology, companies should focus on the available technology to achieve carbon neutrality. He adds that instead of presenting a single choice, carbon neutrality could come up with more options.
Toyota has shown an interest in hydrogen-powered cars while most automakers try to join the battery electric vehicles market in response to tightening carbon emissions regulations.
The International Energy Agency has reported that registration of electric cars increased by 41% in 2020 globally, even though the car market generally declined by one-sixth.
Toyota hopes to have 15 electric vehicle models by 2025. The company has invested $13.5 billion in the span of ten years to increase battery production.
Toyota did not sign an agreement to produce electric vehicles
U.N delegates discussed how to deal with climate change at a conference in Glasgow. Automakers such as Mercedes-Benz, owned by Daimler AG (OTCMKTS: DDAIF), Volvo (OTCMKTS: VLVLY), Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), and General Motors Company (NYSE: GM), agreed to stop the production of cars that use fossil fuel by 2040. However, Toyota did not sign the agreement as they said the world was not ready to start using electric vehicles. Volkswagen was also absent at the meeting.
Shigeru Hayakawa, the Vice Chairman of Toyota, said the company does not want to be exclusively viewed as an electric vehicle manufacturer. Instead, it would rather people view it as a carbon-neutral company.
Alternatives to fossil fuel could save jobs in Japan
An analyst at Carnorama, the auto industry research company, Takeshi Miyao, adds that the quick addition of carbon-free fuels could stop the surge of electric vehicles.
Mass layouts in Japan are politically controversial; hence companies like Toyota believe switching to hydrogen could save jobs lost with a complete switch to electric vehicles. The automobile industry in Japan has employed about 5.5 billion people, saving millions of jobs. However, the hydrogen engine is not wholly carbon-free.
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