Toyota lays out plans for zero emission future

Toyota has revealed its plans for the next 35 years with a strong focus on the community and environmental sustainability. At the heart of these plans are a 90 per cent cut in vehicle CO2 emissions by 2050 and zero emissions at all manufacturing plants by the same point.

The Japanese company sees fuel cell vehicles (FCV) as a crucial stepping stone to achieving these aims and wants to sell more than 30,000 FCVs a year around 2020 onwards. The Mirai will be leading Toyota's fuel cell charge and the announcement of Toyota's environmental aims comes during the same week that the model was officially launched in Europe.

The first Mirai's have been delivered to customers in the UK with the likes of Transport for London and hydrogen power specialists ITM Power receiving the keys to their new cars. The press managed to get their hands on a European-spec car for the first time too at a launch in Hamburg.

It isn't just the Mirai that will be build using fuel cell technology as Toyota plans to start selling hydrogen powered buses by 2017, with an aim to sell more than 100 in Tokyo ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games being hosted in the city. These targets, along with annual sales of 1.5 million hybrids by 2020, will see a cut in emissions from Toyota by more than 22 per cent within five years.

The vehicles are only part of the plan though, with Toyota challenging itself to create zero life cycle CO2 emissions in all materials, parts and manufacturing from the vehicle's life-cycle.

Linked to that is a significant roll-out of renewable and hydrogen-based energy in production to completely eliminate CO2 emissions in manufacturing by 2050. This will see the building of FCVs lead the way by using hydrogen and fuel cell technology on the production line. Wind power will be produced at the company's Tahara plant in Japan by 2020, while a new plant being built in Mexico will see emissions 40 per cent lower than the company's average by the time it goes live in 2019. Factories in Brazil will start using renewable electricity by the end of the year.

Finally, the company plans to roll-out conservation projects to help communities around the world, including planting more than 8.5 million trees over ten years in China to fight against desertification in the region and opening environmental education centres.

Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:20th Oct 2015

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