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Toyota’s clean, green future

POSTED BY Nigel Andretti ON 04 December 2015

THE world’s leading carmaker, Toyota, says it plans to eliminate C02 emissions from vehicle use and manufacturing by 2050.

Toyota also says it can reduce the emissions of its new vehicles by more than 22 per cent by 2020, compared with 2010 levels.

This goal comes under the umbrella of the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050.

In addition to achieving these long-term targets, Toyota is also announcing its Sixth Toyota Environmental Action Plan, which will be enacted between April 2016 and the end of March 2021.

Globally, Toyota is launching 14 new engines of all sizes that have greater thermal efficiency, to produce fuel economy improvements of more than 10 per cent over the motors they are replacing.

In the immediate future, the company is targeting annual global sales of over 30,000 fuel cell vehicles by 2020, with at least 10,000 per year in Japan.

In the next 18 months it plans to start selling fuel cell buses, focusing on Tokyo, with at least 100 on the road by the time of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Toyota has made 5680 fuel cell patents freely available to the rest of the automotive industry and is collaborating with other manufacturers to support the development of hydrogen infrastructure, so fuel-cell-vehicle uptake can be increased.

The company is aiming for sales of 1.5 million hybrids annually and 15 million hybrids cumulatively by 2020, with a broader product line-up. It reached the eight million mark earlier this year and is currently selling 1.1 million hybrids per year.

It’s developing more efficient batteries and silicon carbide semiconductors with higher energy density and high temperature durability, to improve the range of electric and plug-in electric vehicles.

The latest Prius has a combined fuel consumption of 3.4 litres per 100km. The 2016 model is built on an all-new platform – Toyota’s new global architecture (TNGA) – which allows for better positioning of powertrain components. The body is 20mm lower and the nose is 70mm lower, reducing the drag co-efficient to 0.24.

The 1.8-litre motor has been re-engineered with reduced internal friction. Electrical losses in the hybrid system have been reduced by better mechanical alignment of electrical components.

Toyota is planning to halve production process-related CO2 emissions per vehicle from new plants and new production lines from 2001 levels by 2020, and roughly a third more by 2030 – reducing the amount of material and the number of parts used.

Toyota is also developing manufacturing technologies that use hydrogen as a power source, and will begin testing it on fuel cell vehicle production lines by 2020.

Wind power produced on-site will power Japan’s Tahara Plant by 2020. Sustainable production technology is being introduced at Toyota’s new Mexico plant, which will start manufacturing in 2019 so that CO2 emissions per vehicle manufactured are at least 40 percent lower than its global 2001 levels.

From this year, entirely locally produced renewable electricity – wind, biomass and hydro – is being used at factories in Brazil.

Minimising and optimising water usage is another stated aim for Toyota, with effective wastewater management and minimising water consumption. The use of rain water and an increase in water recycling is expected to provide a waste water quality cleaner than local river water.

Toyota also says it will establish a recycling-based society and systems with a global rollout of end-of-life vehicle treatment and recycling technologies, including designing vehicles for easier disassembly. It will start by establishing two recycling projects in Japan in 2016.

If all of that sounds too good to be true, Toyota also wants to save the trees, with a rollout of conservation activities beyond the Toyota Group and its business partners. There are three future-oriented global projects in 2016 around forestry, environmental grants and education. This has already started with the planting of 8.6 million trees in Hebei Province, China.

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