Nikkei. The Japanese auto industry is “doing its best” to meet the European Union’s carbon-dioxide emissions targets for vehicles, but is hampered by vehicle safety rules and lack of subsidies and incentives to support hybrids, Fujio Cho, chairman of Toyota and chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, told the Nihon Keizai Shimbun.
The additional EU vehicle safety rules “have made it difficult for us to improve fuel mileage,’ said Cho. Lower fuel consumption results in lower emissions of carbon dioxide. Cho was in Brussels meeting with senior European Commission officials about environment-related issues, including European carbon-dioxide emission targets.
Regarding the seemingly slow diffusion of hybrid cars in Europe, Cho urged the EU to bolster measures to improve the popularity of the fuel-efficient vehicles, such as offering subsidies and other incentives.
“European governments haven’t come up with appropriate measures to promote the wider use of such vehicles,” Cho said.
A program of strong subsidies and incentives would be most beneficial to Toyota, which currently has the largest stable of hybrid models on the market.
Cho also acknowledged the need for Japanese carmakers to broaden their lineups of diesel-powered vehicles for sale in Europe.