Toyota chases hydrogen dream as cars go electric
Toyota chases hydrogen dream as cars go electric

As delegates from the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow investigate how to save the planet, Toyota's CEO in Japan drives an experimental hydrogen car that he says could save millions of jobs around the world.

The Toyota Corolla sports car driven by Akio Toyoda at the Okayama International Circuit in western Japan is powered by a modified GR Yaris hydrogen engine.

This commercially viable engine enables combustion engines to operate in a climate-neutral world.

"The enemy is carbon, not internal combustion engines," Toyoda said at the track. We don't have to focus on just one technology. But we have to use the technology we have. Carbon neutrality isn't an option, it's about keeping options open.

As emissions regulations tighten around the world to fulfill its commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the world's largest automaker has joined the competition for the growing market share of battery electric vehicles, the company's latest introduction of hydrogen technology.

Toyota plans to put 15 electric cars on the market by 2025. It has invested $13.5 billion in ten years to develop battery production.

At the rally in Glasgow, six major car manufacturers, including General Motors, Ford, Sweden's Volvo and Daimler, signed a declaration to phase out fossil fuel vehicles by 2040.

Toyota refused to join the organization on the grounds that most parts of the world were not yet ready to switch to electric vehicles.

"We don't want to be seen as manufacturers of electric cars," Toyota Vice President Shigeru Hayakawa told Reuters. But as a climate neutral company.

If carbon-free fuel is introduced quickly, it may end the first battery boom

In Japan, where large-scale layoffs are politically difficult, the allure of hydrogen energy is that it causes less disruption than a full switch to electric cars. The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association estimates that the auto industry employs 5.5 million people.

Toyota wants a hydrogen car

Although Toyota and other automakers are investing resources to manufacture hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. But no company has shown a similar interest in Toyota's hydrogen engine technology.

One problem is that the engine is not completely carbon free and therefore cannot be classified as zero emissions.

The by-product of the combustion of hydrogen and oxygen is water. But a small amount of metal will also burn from the engine. This corresponds to about 2% of emissions from gasoline engines. Exhaust gases also contain traces of nitrogen oxides.

Manufacturing electric car batteries has a carbon cost. However, electric cars do not pollute the environment when used.

Hydrogen cars also need huge, pressurized fuel tanks. Most of the rear seats and trunk of the Toyota Hydro are occupied by the fuel tank, as well as the rear windows.

For safety reasons, the company's engineers had to refuel the car outside the conventional station. These concerns have also slowed the construction of hydrogen filling stations in Japan.

The Japanese government supports hydrogen energy and believes that hydrogen energy is an essential component of Japan's carbon-neutral energy mix of the future. At the end of August, Japan had 154 hydrogen filling stations.

Despite having the right infrastructure for hydrogen, Toyota still needs to build cars that can rival conventional gasoline and electric cars in terms of price, range and operating costs.

Previous Post Next Post