We've been seeing a switch to electrification since even before the start of the decade. But we aren't even midway into it – by the end of the decade, a lot of automakers have already pledged to stop selling vehicles with an internal combustion engine (ICE). For what purpose? To curb the world's carbon emissions and hopefully prevent climate change.
But Akio Toyoda believes that this isn't enough, Automotive News reports. According to Toyota Motor Corporation's CEO, this will still do little to cut the emissions of the already millions of ICE-equipped cars – even if all new cars to be sold someday are electric.
Toyota's solution is to convert existing vehicles to carbon-neutral propulsion – either by converting them into full electric or with a hydrogen engine.
Gallery: Toyota AE86 H2 and AE86 BEV concepts
Toyota has shown how it's done at the Tokyo Auto Salon where the automaker showcased two AE86 Concepts. One's all-electric while the other is powered by hydrogen.
Dressed up with the iconic black and white body, the hydrogen-powered AE86 H2 Concept was equipped with two Mirai-sourced hydrogen storages positioned in the trunk. The four-cylinder engine under the hood came with modified fuel injectors, fuel pipes, and spark plugs to meet the specifications of the hydrogen system.
The Toyota AE86 BEV Concept, on the other hand, used an electric motor sourced from a Tundra hybrid, a battery pack from a Prius plug-in hybrid, and components from other production Toyota and Lexus models. Surprisingly, it came with a manual transmission.
The two concepts should provide proof that Toyoda's vision can be done, though Toyota admits that talking about this is just the first step in a long development process.
"Many automakers target a 100 percent shift to battery EVs, anywhere between 2030 to 2040," Toyoda said in the Automotive News report. "But the reality is that we cannot achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 simply by shifting all new-car sales to EVs. … It is important to provide options for cars that are already owned."