Toyota, Yamaha, Mazda, Subaru to develop alternate fuels for combustion engines
Toyota Motor Corp has announced that will partner with four other Japanese vehicle makers to explore the feasibility of developing alternative green motor fuels for internal combustion engine such as hydrogen fuel and synthetic fuels derived from biomass.
The companies that Toyota is partnering with include Mazda, Subaru, Yamaha Motor and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. All the five companies made the announcement of partnership at a race track in Okayama, western Japan.
Toyota is of the belief that though transforming internal combustion engines to green fuels such as hydrogen is technologically difficult, but achieving this goal would allow the companies to support ages-old existing supply chain systems. These include hundreds of thousands of workers who may otherwise have to leave their jobs as the industry switches to producing electric vehicles (EV).
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As countries around the world tighten environmental regulations in order to cut down carbon emissions, various automakers including Toyota are working on ramping up the production of EVs. Toyota is also under pressure as the Japan government has said that it aims to be a carbon neutral nation by 2050 and is also promoting the use of hydrogen fuel.
Toyota currently has plans to develop 15 EV models by 2025 and is investing $13.5 billion over the next decade to expand battery production capacity. Meanwhile, it is also working on developing vehicles powered by hydrogen.
Toyota president Akio Toyoda spent the weekend swerving around the racetrack in western Japan in a Toyota Corolla. The version he drove was equipped with in-house hydrogen engine, which propels the vehicle by burning the fuel much like traditional engines use gasoline.
The company also showcased other vehicles running on carbon-neutral propellants in a three-hour road race, along with Mazda. "The enemy is carbon, not internal combustion engines," Toyoda said.
(with inputs from Reuters)