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Toyota promises to only sell zero-emissions cars in Europe by 2035

Toyota Motor Corp. announced its willingness to sell only zero-emissions cars in Europe by 2035, an unexpected commitment to help the world’s largest carmaker with the world’s most ambitious climate plan.

The Japanese manufacturer also set a new intermediate target for at least half of its sales in Western Europe to be zero-emission vehicles by the end of the decade. That’s a big step up from the roughly 10% sales expected in 2025.

While the goals match Toyota With the green deal measures proposed by the European Union in July, the company qualified the 2035 view by saying it assumed the bloc would have sufficient infrastructure for the battery recharge and hydrogen refueling. EU member states are arguing over an end date for internal combustion engines, with France favoring allowing plug-in hybrids to last longer and Italy find a way to shield the supercars from rushing out.

Toyota’s commitments come as a bit of a surprise, as executives have long sought to preserve the role of hybrids such as Prius to reduce the exhaust emissions until completely tram reachable for more consumers. The company’s recent activity in Europe exemplifies this strategy: Car buyers have refused to use diesel engines since Volkswagen The AG engine cheating scandal came to light in 2015. Toyota’s sales have skyrocketed and the fleet’s average CO2 emissions are the lowest of any major conventional automaker.

But for all of Toyota’s success with hybrids, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the company to assume that consumers in European regions aren’t quite ready to switch to fully battery-powered cars. More than 800,000 such trams were registered in the region between this year and September, an increase of more than 90% from a year ago. Elon MuskThe argument of all electricity or bankruptcy also won over investors, with Tesla overtook Toyota as the world’s most valuable automaker last year and don’t look back.

Matthew Harrison, CEO of Toyota Europe, said in an interview: “We do not defend or grudgingly follow in any way. “We will focus on our goodwill, but we need the same belief and effort and progress from a renewable energy capacity and infrastructure perspective.”

Other automakers have outlined similar goals to Toyota’s. VWThe eponymous brand said it plans to stop selling internal combustion cars in Europe between 2033 and 2035. Ford Motor Co’s passenger car line. will be fully electric by 2030. Daimler AG‘NS Mercedes-Benz has pledged to be ready to go all-electric by the end of the decade if conditions permit.

Announcements by companies that they are not reducing much CO2 from their fleets, along with authorities only specifying how long the industry can go all-electric, has led the team to Toyota’s leadership disappointed.

“At the moment, there is an ongoing press battle over who will promise the most,” said Gill Pratt, chief scientist at Toyota. “The promises don’t remove any CO2 from the air.”

Pratt makes the case that the way to reduce net carbon emissions globally is to continue offering hybrids and plug-in hybrids until cheaper and cleaner batteries are produced, while charging infrastructure uses The use of renewable energy is more widespread.

But these concerns no longer prevent Toyota from installing an EV booster. The company is launching a brand new product utility sports car next year is called bZ4X which resembles RAV4 SUV car. This will be the first of seven cars in the series that Toyota calls bZ, meaning “beyond zero”.

The Lexus brand will also be in on the action, with a new battery-powered SUV called the RZ due out in the first half of next year. The luxury car division will aim to nearly double annual sales to 130,000 vehicles by 2025, from around 70,000 today.

While Toyota is a fan of batteries – it has sold nearly 20 million electric vehicles to date – the company is also a staunch proponent of fuel cells and continue to see hydrogen play a role in reducing traffic emissions, particularly from larger vehicles.

Toyota will begin production of second-generation fuel cell modules next month in Belgium that can be used on trucks, buses, trains or ships.

“We have to reduce our carbon footprint,” Pratt said in an interview. “We need to be humble. We need to understand that we don’t really know what will work best, and so the best approach right now is to try a lot of things.”

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