Replacing Akio Toyoda at the helm of the Japanese automotive giant, Koji Sato was appointed CEO on April 1. In an extended interview with Autocar, he spoke about how the world's best-selling car manufacturer should work on lowering its emissions on the road to becoming carbon neutral by the middle of the century per the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050. He explained there isn't a single solution as the plan is to invest in different technologies.
Toyota faces quite a few hurdles as Koji Sato said the durability of solid-state batteries remains a "huge challenge." However, he remains optimistic: "If we get through this point, the energy efficiency will be really fantastic. We're on that – but we still need some time." In January 2022, Toyota announced it would have a hybrid with a solid-state battery on sale by 2025.
Toyota AE86 H2 and AE86 BEV concepts
Synthetic fuels also need time to evolve, according to the 53-year-old engineer. He mentioned the energy necessary to create e-fuels is still too high, and only further technological progress will make them feasible for mass production. It's worth mentioning Porsche has started production of synthetic fuel at its plant in Chile as the sports car marque believes the ICE can be saved despite the inevitable EV future. However, Volkswagen brand boss Thomas Schäfer recently referred to e-fuel as being "unnecessary noise" since internal combustion engines represent "old technology."
Getting back to Toyota, Koji Sato admits the company he's now running might be lagging some rivals in terms of EV offerings by not offering a variety of zero-emission models. In a subsequent statement, he emphasized quality over quantity: "It's not just about numbers – how many models we have on the market – but how good they are, for customers and the environment."
The newly appointed head honcho went on to add that cutting emissions should be done not only with hybrids, plug-in hybrids, EVs, and synthetic fuel but also with hydrogen. He wasn't referring strictly to fuel cells but also to ICEs modified to run on hydrogen, which are already found in experimental GR Yaris and GR Corolla race cars.
The full interview can be found at the source link below.