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As Autos Go Electric, Toyota Chases Hydrogen Dream

Toyota refused to join the group, claiming that much of the world wasn’t ready to move to EVs. Another notable absence was Volkswagen, Germany.

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Toyota CEO was racing an experimental hydrogen car in Japan when a delegation of the United Nations Climate Change Council considered ways to save the planet over the weekend in Glasgow-he says hundreds of cars. I was able to save the work of millions of cars. 

The colorful Toyota Corolla Sport, in which Akio Toyoda toured the Okayama International Circuit in western Japan, was equipped with a modified GR Yaris engine powered by hydrogen. Making such power plants commercially viable allows internal combustion engines to continue to operate in a carbon-free world.

“The enemy is carbon, not the internal combustion engine. We should not only focus on one technology, but use the technology we already have,” Toyoda said in a truck. “Carbon neutral isn’t about having only one choice, it’s about keeping it open.”

Toyota’s latest commitment to hydrogen technology is a growing market for battery-powered electric vehicles (BEVs) as the world’s largest automakers rush to join and the world tightens emission regulations to meet its carbon reduction commitments. Is to gain share.

By 2025, Toyota plans to make 15 EV models available and has invested $ 13.5 billion over 10 years to expand battery production. 

Not just electricity

At the rally in Glasgow, six major automakers, including General Motors, Ford Motors, Volvo of Sweden and Mercedes-Benz of Daimler AG, signed a declaration to phase out fossil fuel vehicles by 2040.

Toyota refused to join the group, claiming that much of the world wasn’t ready to move to EVs. Another notable absence was Volkswagen, Germany.

Toyota’s Vice Chairman Shigeru Hayakawa told Reuters, “I want to be seen as a carbon-neutral company, not as an EV maker.”

Hayakawa likened the technological choices facing the automotive industry to the late 19th century contest of direct current transmission against alternating current. The stake is high.

“The rapid adoption of carbon-free fuels could end the first battery EV boom,” said Takeshi Miyao, an analyst at Carnorama, a research firm in the automotive industry.

In Japan, where mass dismissal is politically difficult, the appeal of hydrogen is that it is less confusing than a complete switch to EVs. The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association estimates that the automobile industry employs 5.5 million people.

Toyota and other automakers are investing resources in the production of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs), but none have shown Toyota’s willingness to use hydrogen engine technology.

Challenging technology

The problem is that the engine is not completely carbon-free and cannot be classified as zero emissions.

Water is a by-product of the combustion of hydrogen and oxygen, but it also burns a small amount of engine metal, which accounts for about 2% of gasoline engine emissions. Exhaust gas also contains trace amounts of nitrogen oxides.

Manufacturing batteries for electric vehicles comes at a carbon cost, but EVs are not contaminated during operation.

Hydrogen vehicles also require bulky pressurized tanks for fuel. Many of Toyota’s hydrogen vehicles’ rear seats and trunks were occupied by fuel tanks blocking the rear windows.

Due to safety concerns, Toyota engineers had to refuel their vehicles far away from the pits where other teams were working in their vehicles.

Such concerns are also delaying the construction of Japan’s hydrogen fuel stations, despite the Japanese government boosting fuel. This is seen as an important element of the country’s future carbon-neutral energy mix.

As of the end of August, there are 154 hydrogen stations in Japan, six short of what the government wanted by the end of March.

“Hydrogen has long been known as a potential low-carbon transport fuel, but it was difficult to establish it in the transport fuel mix,” the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a progress report this month. ..

Even with sufficient fuel infrastructure, Toyota needs to build vehicles that can compete with traditional gasoline and EVs in terms of price, range and operating costs.

In Okayama, Toyota did not say when Toyota would launch a commercial hydrogen engine vehicle.

Eiji Terasaki (57), who was visiting the Okayama International Circuit from neighboring Kagawa Prefecture and watching the race, said, “It’s nice to have a lot of choices. When everything becomes EV, most of the industry is in China.” Told.


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