Toyota recently announced a set of goals to be achieved over the next 35 years, which address key global environmental issues such as climate change, water shortages, resource depletion and degradation of biodiversity.
The Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 aims to reduce the negative impact of manufacturing and driving vehicles as much as possible. The challenge is composed of six individual challenges across three areas: Ever-better cars, ever-better manufacturing and enriching lives of communities.
Toyota plans to reduce global average new-vehicle carbon emissions by 90 percent by 2050, compared to its 2010 global average. To this end, the company is developing next-generation automotive technologies and encouraging their widespread use from the standpoint of energy conservation and diversification of fuel sources.
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In an effort to diversify fuel sources, the company is pushing for further advances related to electrified powertrains in order to develop next-generation models. It also is promoting development of next-generation batteries that have higher energy density, easier increase in voltage and excellent high-temperature durability, in order to improve the range of EVs and the electric range of hybrid vehicles.
Hydrogen-powered vehicles, such as the Mirai also are central to Toyota’s strategy for promoting widespread use of fuel cell vehicles, as well as making 5,680 fuel cell patents freely available and collaborating with other automakers to support the development of hydrogen infrastructure.
Toyota has set a goal of reducing all carbon emissions of its plants to zero by 2050. This will be achieved through day-to-day continuous improvements and introduction of low-carbon production methods. The company also will employ renewable power, such as wind and biomass, and hydroelectric, to run its plants.
To reduce water impacts, Toyota is enacting more effective wastewater management and minimizing water consumption, taking into account the conditions in each country and region. It will introduce technologies that reduce industrial water consumption through rainwater use; improve water recycling rates in manufacturing processes, and recycling plant wastewater.
Enriching lives of communities
Toyota will work to establish a “recycling-based society and systems” through the promotion of a global rollout of end-of-life vehicle treatment and recycling technologies developed in Japan by establishing two recycling projects in 2016.
Some of these activities include using resources more efficiently by using eco-materials, using parts for longer, improving recycling technologies, and building cars from end-of-life vehicles. It also will promote global rollout of end-of-life vehicle treatment and recycling technologies developed in Japan by establishing two projects: Toyota Global 100 Dismantlers Project and Toyota Global Car-to-Car Recycle Project.
In other Toyota news, earlier this month the automaker invited 171 people to breakfast at what it called the “Toyota Barista Project,” designed to educate the public about an energy-harvesting technology commonly called KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), in which energy is captured and stored in a vehicle during braking and reused for accelerating again. Many racecars have implemented the technology because the severe changes in speed on the track essentially result in free fuel without any weight penalty, making the cars faster and more efficient. As more and more cars rely on electric power in the future, KERS will likely become a very familiar term — the Barista Project aimed to show the surprising amount of energy the system circulates.
Toyota estimated that it would be able to generate enough energy to serve one cup of coffee, a half-slice of toast and one-third of a sunny-side up fried egg for 171 people during the demonstration.