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Toyota announces aggressive environmental targets through 2050; cutting new vehicle CO2 by 90% compared to 2010

Addressing key global environmental issues such as climate change, water shortages, resource depletion, and degradation of biodiversity, the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 aims to reduce the negative impact of manufacturing and driving vehicles as much as possible. The challenge comprises six individual challenges across three areas: Ever-better cars, quantified as reducing global average new-vehicle CO2 emissions by 90% by 2050 compared to Toyota’s 2010 global average; ever-better manufacturing (zero CO2 emissions at all plants by 2050); and enriching the lives of communities.

As a key step toward achieving these long-term targets, Toyota is announcing its Sixth Toyota Environmental Action Plan, which will be enacted between April 2016 and the end of March 2021.

Ever better cars. Among the key activities and goals in this area at present are:

  • Achieving annual global sales of more than 30,000 fuel cell vehicles around or after 2020. In Japan, selling at least 1,000 fuel cell vehicles per month (well in excess of 10,000 per year).

  • Beginning sales of fuel cell buses in small numbers by early 2017, focusing on Tokyo; preparing to sell over 100 fuel cell buses ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo.

  • Achieving sales of 1.5 million hybrids annually and 15 million hybrids cumulatively by 2020.

  • Reducing average CO2 emissions from new vehicles by more than 22 percent by 2020 (compared to Toyota’s 2010 global average).

  • Pushing for further advances related to electrified powertrains in order to develop next-generation models; promoting development of next-generation batteries, such as solid-state batteries that have higher energy density, easier increase in voltage and excellent high-temperature durability, in order to improve the range of EVs and the electric range of PHVs.

  • Promoting the downsizing and improvement of power control units in hybrids and PHVs, etc.; focusing development resources on the commercial application of silicon carbide power semiconductors (jointly developed with Denso Corporation and Toyota Central R&D Labs., Inc.) that can improve the fuel efficiency of hybrids by 10 percent.


Toyota is also seeking to eliminate all CO2 emissions, including materials, parts and manufacturing, from the vehicle lifecycle.

On the manufacturing side, Toyota is targeting cutting production process-related CO2 emissions per vehicle from new plants and new production lines to roughly half of 2001 levels by 2020, and roughly a third by 2030. The company says that it intends to use renewable energy and hydrogen-based production methods to completely eliminate CO2 emissions by 2050.

Toyota will develop manufacturing technologies that use hydrogen as a power source, and beginning testing on FCV production lines by around 2020.

On the community side, Toyota will focus on establishing a recycling-based society and systems. It will promote the global rollout of end-of-life vehicle treatment and recycling technologies developed in Japan by establishing two recycling projects in 2016. The company will also promote the global rollout of conservation activities beyond the Toyota Group and its business partners by establishing three future-oriented global projects in 2016.


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Sorry for being so negative but IMO Toyota does not invent importantly and they do not excite anymore. They have nothing to show that makes them the car company of the future. They have the Prius but with BEVs and PHEV hitting the roads and showrooms everywhere it has lost its mojo. It has become the next best thing if you want a green car. In other words, boring. Moreover, Toyotas FCV is an idiocy that is going nowhere and we will all be able to see it clearly in the coming years. They cost more (like at least 50k USD), the fuel is far more expensive (like 14 USD per gallon equivalent) and the FCV are non-performers (like 100hp) with little range (max 300 EPA rating), no storage (because of large hydrogen tanks in the trunk area) and very few places to fuel.

At Least GM has the Volt and the Bolt project might excite in a year from now.

VW has a series of PHEVs, two short-range BEVs and a forthcoming long-range BEV for 2019. Not bad by comparison.

Toyota really has nothing to show and has no plans for it either.

When Google, Apple and Tesla start the self-driving BEV taxi revolution shortly after 2020 the old auto industry might change its strategy and start inventing for the future. I do not see it yet and I definitely do not see it for Toyota.


As usual, Toyota has an impressive plan for transition from ICEVs to FCEVs and BEVs via HEVs and PHEVs.

Toyota's battery development plan, all the way to 10,000 Wh/Kg via 700 Wh/Kg and 1000+ Wh/Kg is also very impressive and will put an end to ICEVs.

Toyota's FCV development plan is one of the best and will give the world a superior alternative propulsion system at an interesting competitive price before 2020.

Many others can develop autonomous drive vehicles but Toyota will not be far behind, if at all!


I recall with the launch of the second generation Prius in late 2003, that Toyota claimed it was on the path to hybridizing their entire product line by 2012.

Yeah . . . that didn't happen either.


There will be no 'transition' from PHEVs to fuel cell and all-battery EVs. PHEVs simply have the most potential to reduce fuel/energy consumption, VMT and the wholesale adaption of photovoltiac solar power.
The larger the EV battery pack, the more its energy consumption, the more regional utility grids must expand to supply demand which giant array solar PV systems cannot handle. The 'small' battery pack PHEV is the more ideal match to consequently 'small' rooftop solar arrays that complement utility grids rather than overwhelm them as would BEVs, plus combustable hydrogen is more practical in a PHEV than in fuel cell arrangements, plus the limited all-electric driving range of the PHEV leads to driving less, walk, bicycle and use advanced mass transit more.

It's really quite simple if only those who believe this PR nonsense about autonomous self-driving cars would only gave it the least thought. Automobile-related corporate interests (sales, finance, insurance, fuel/energy, construction, advertizing, etc etc) want everyone driving everywhere for every purpose including obtaining goods transported across the globe and the pursuit of exotic air travel escapes to other somewhat less ruined landscapes, in utter disregard for the dreadful impacts, to keep the money flowing and the ignorance growing, as seen on TV. It's the end of the world as we know it.


Where the TESLAs on time?


Wow, lots of negative comments here. This is more like a vision statement from Toyota, as nobody seriously plans specifics 35 yrs out - too much will change along the way.

Autonomous driving is coming. Humans are not bad at it, but sorry, computers will have fewer fatal accidents.

If all of the light duty vehicle miles driven in the US were suddenly converted to electric, the annual US usage of electricity would increase 10% from ~4000 TWh to 4400 TWh. I wish people would do some math before making claims.


Whole lot of vapor in the car business isn't there; along with some pretty involved scheming to maintain the status quo so auto companies can keep selling them gas guzzling junkers. The king of all the schemes of course being Hydrogen Fuel Cells and the induced distraction away from quickly developing all electric cars.

What's interest and also sad, is everyone knows continuing to burn hydrocarbons in the atmosphere is the demise of mankind; but, few want to take the long range outlook and change...the short term profits and political bribery money is just too compelling. Where are the statesmen of the world to lead the people...are they but an illusion? Methinks Yes.

Sirkulat, although i agree that PHEVs offer tremendous value, and will likely be a marketplace winner, at least mid-term, the idea that:

S> The larger the EV battery pack, the more its energy consumption

Is incorrect, except in a very minor respect. Energy consumption is a function of miles driven (and speed, etc) not the size if the battery.

(Of course bigger batteries weigh more, but so do PHEVs).


This is like the good citizens of 1890 computing that the streets of our major cities would be 3 ft deep in Horse $hit by 1950. You can not predict the future out 35 years because you do not know what new technologies will be invented. A few years ago everyone but those in the know were predicting peak oil but now we have a global oil glut.

I do think that batteries will improve but there is a limit which is probably lithium air. However, maybe by 2025 or 2030, the good developers at MIT will have perfected their compact fusion generators and wind turbines and solar cells will be the laughable technology of the 2010's


If you run FFV hybrids on cellulose ethanol and renewable gasoline made from corn stalks you have reduced fossil carbon emissions. Then wind generated hydrogen used in fuel cells takes us even further.


People are being a bit hard on Toyota.
Their hybrids are excellent and getting better and more numerous year by year.
They want to transition to PHEVs as soon as possible, or at least get the electric range up. I am not so sure about the fuel cell vehicles, you might as well use nat. gas hybrids.
In terms of batteries, all they need is a battery 2x - 3x as good as what is available now and you have it.
The sakichi battery is a notion, not a realistic proposition.
Still, it is nice to see a company that thinks out 35 years, even if it is only Powerpoint.


The critics of hydrogen and fuel cells made no reply to my noting in another thread that they have so far been wrong in every single one of their claims, from the impossibility of producing the cars at less than $200,000 as some claimed based on early prototype costs and the equally daft notion that fuel cell stack costs can't be reduced from the present $50k or so to the impossibility they assumed of rolling out the infrastructure.

Being consistently wrong has not slowed them down any, and they continue to rely on their outmoded assumptions.

For instance for hydrogen from renewables:

'The transportation system in California currently emits 170 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually, as reported by the Air and Resources Board. This greenhouse gas impact is compounded by the 56 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent produced by landfills.

Producing hydrogen fuel from waste presents a unique opportunity to combat environmental hazards and health problems associated with both transportation and landfill emissions. For example, if California’s annual waste was diverted from landfills, converted into hydrogen, and used for transportation fuel it would offset the equivalent emissions of taking half of the state’s vehicles off the road.'

The capabilities of hydrogen and fuel cells in transportation are rapidly improving.

Deal with it.


I would give Toyota full credence for predicting future trends of the auto industry. Notice the plug in hybrid is not worthy of importance to future. My guess the sweet spot is mild hybrid that maximizes value of vehicle purchase. The sales volume of these cars will be large. I read where enthusiast with money to burn, will have the option for plug in. Hybrid technology will also become a line item option with most choosing the lower cost mild hybrid. Solid batteries will take over the market and double energy density, but the battery car still will be expensive and unfitting for primary vehicle sales. Autonomous vehicle has already reached apogee of decision making for future. Same for hydrogen fuel cell that slowly climbs to forefront of chemical energy storage of choice for our economy. The grid will slowly improve and gradually green, but the grid may become less important in distributing Btu energy to customers. Meaning the hydrogen and natural gas lines may increase in importance. Also, heavy industry may relocate within energy parks to share and optimize energy use. Roof top solar, increase battery capability, hydrogen CHP system all point to hardware that make the grid less important. Local grid or micro grid is predicted to increase in importance, such as the energy systems developed by universities to manage energy use and production internal with max advantage to CHP systems. Wind power could be maximized across even remote geographical zones per hydrogen production and storage. Cellulosic technology for ethanol production continues to develop. Companies such as ICM that build and support ethanol plants are currently retrofitting plants for gen 1.5 corn cellulose. They have their own gen 2 cellulosic plant technology in full production for eventual adaption by ethanol plants. Currently, grain ethanol is calculated to be 40% better than gasoline fuel for carbon. E85 optimized engines and cellulosic fuel will drive that figure to 85%. GMO Micanthus feed stock and optimum farming practices rated at negative carbon fuel. All of this better rating than the grid could possibly achieve for vehicle transportation.


Davemart- Your info on GW gas of landfills is exactly the problem with natural carbon cycle. This cycle is the 200# gorilla in the room as compared to puny man made emissions. Why do Environmentalist only concern themselves with MM? For instance the North American insect infestation and death of Canadian Boreal and Rocky mountain trees the largest GW gas emitter upon the planet, currently. Wouldn't GW do more within the natural carbon cycle as opposed to umber expensive MM? The science technology coming out of alternative fuels such as cellulosic appears to reduce the carbon footprint of natural carbon cycle. For example, forestry practices can be magnified if waste wood has a decent market. This improves forest land for max tonnage of wood per acre (max CO2 sequestration) and reduces fire hazard. Miscanthus grass improves soil of farmland, diverse wildlife, and results in carbon negative fuel. Waste collectors are learning how to utilize the waste as feed stock for biofuel. Leftovers are utilized for fertilizer, chemicals, or high protein single cell animal feed.


Hi Emily, listen, could I ask a favor on behalf of all of us and get you to divide your posts into paragraphs or at least spread blank lines liberally around in your posts ? I appreciate your concern with waste but as a programmer I can confidentally tell you that a blank line doesn't waste eighty bytes consisting of space codes, it replaces them instead with carriage return and line feed codes respectively which take up just two bytes.

Yes I agree with your sequestering argument. In fact we should have teams going out and culling old growth forests and planting saplings. The old growth is responsible for those forest fires we had in Alberta this summer and was entirely preventable in my opinion.

Disposal of the old growth would require it to be chipped to make it suitable for transport and its subsequent underground storage in decommissioned mine shafts.

However getting back to cars. I don't see the economics of autonomous vehicles even for taxi services unless they are designed as two seat grocery getters with a top speed capability of 40mph which should be enough for local city to suburbs transport. They could well be used as a replacement for public transport vehicles particularly during off peak hours. Public transport authorities insist on adhering to the same model of chauffeuring a couple of people around late at night in an eight ton vehicle which has been my experience.

Of course, as Sirkulat points out in the third paragraph from his post above, corporate interests will ignore this. The gross margins per car from those downsized vehicles purposed primarily for taxi service won't allow them to grow their business. They clearly - from the TV advertising I most see - want you in the largest SUV or pickup that low interest money can buy. It is the EPA and other air quality organisations with clout which will make the biggest alteration to Toyota's aspirations in the years to come. Certainly not Toyota itself.

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T2 the economics of self-driving cars will be fantastic. Consider the following case.

You make a self-driving two-seater that uses a 40kwh battery to go 300 miles per charge. It can go 300 miles on 40kwh because it only has two seats in succession and therefore has half the air drag as a four seat car. It can also be made to weight less than half as much as a typical four seat car because it is half the size and can use low weight materials more intensively. Low weight materials like high strength aluminium and carbon fibre are expensive but with a car that is half the size you do not need as much of these high cost materials as in a full size car and because the car is autonomous it can be operated as a tireless taxi working 24 hours a day 7 days per week throughout the year apart from time spend charging and receiving cleaning services. It should easily be able to log 100,000 miles per year instead of 15,000 miles per year in a privately owned car. The point being that 1 USD of capital expenses for the car is split on 7 miles instead of 1 mile. However, the car will be expensive to make. About 8000 USD for the battery, another 8000 USD for computers and sensors enabling its self driving capability, 5000 USD for redundancy of driving critical systems and 24,000 USD for everything else so about 45,000 USD. The car will have a service life of 1,000,000 miles or five times longer than what is realistic with combustion engines or fuel cells. So capital cost is 4.5 cents per mile. Doing 300 miles of 40kwh costing 6 cents per kwh charging at night will cost less than 1 cent per mile ((0.008=40*0.06)/300). Insurance cost will be very low as well because the self-driving car will have nearly none accidents that are caused by its own failures and it has the videos evidence to prove it. Cleaning and occasional maintenance will cost but expect less than 3 cents per mile. Total operator costs will be roughly 11 cents per mile that could sell for 15 cents per mile to be highly profitable for the operator. This is less than half the cost of driving a mile in a Toyota Camry and much lower than the 1.4 USD per mile that taxis with human drivers are charging today.

You could deploy a huge fleet of these taxis one large city at a time to be sure that the day you launch these taxis are everywhere from day one. They are of cause ordered by an Uber like Smartphone app.


I could see small fuel cell extended range EV buses. You have five times the number of buses which seat half as many people. Wait only 5 minutes for a bus and no cranky driver to put up with.


Agree with SJC with electrified autonomous drive buses to satisfy variable demand, lower noise, GHG and pollution.

Larger (or articulated) e-units could be used during rush hours to lower traffic density.


Metro autonomous transportation will probably make public transportation obsolete. Cities would jump at the opportunity to rid themselves of this cost. Private companies such as Uber and Google probably will invest in cell phone apps and technology to coordinate personal transport. All of the transport vehicles operating within the grid of active duty will be optimized to pickup, drop off, and recharge events. Uber already has an amazing app for convenient personal transportation. I would think this is the future, but with driver less vehicle. It should be cheaper, clean, convenient, and fast. Computer control should eliminate accidents and optimize traffic. Traffic control may require computer operated vehicles for safety and efficiency. My guess speeds will increase as well as tailgating. No stoplights required.

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