By 2050, Toyota says that it will produce almost zero vehicles powered by gasoline. Instead, Toyota will manufacture hybrid vehicles and fuel cell vehicles.
Interestingly, electric vehicles were not mentioned by the Japanese auto manufacturer.
Toya made the announcement at a press conference in Tokyo on Wednesday.
Senior managing officer for Toyota, Kiyotaka Ise said, “You may think 35 years is a long time. But for an automaker to envision all combustion engines as gone is pretty extraordinary.”
Toyota has been the largest maker of automobiles for three consecutive years. The company sold 10.2 million vehicles worldwide last year.
About 1.3 million of those vehicles were hybrid vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius. However, the growth rate of the company’s hybrid line has been mostly stagnant for the past year.
In the coming decades, the company will likely focus on cars that are powered by hydrogen fuel cells, such as the Toyota Mirai. Toyota says that it hopes to sell at least 30,000 fuel cell vehicles on an annual basis starting in 2020.
The company set aside $4.2 billion for fuel cell research earlier this year. Toyota expects that its total carbon dioxide emissions will be 90% lower in 2050 than they were in 2010. The company’s total emissions are predicted to drop by 22% by 2020.
Toyota is making these changes in order to win over environmentalists, who are increasingly concerned about climate change.
However, not everyone is convinced that the switch to fuel cells will be any better, as they require the conversion of natural gas to hydrogen, which produces methane. Some people say that the methane is just as bad for the environment as carbon dioxide, and therefore the new fuel cell cars are not any cleaner than current models.
Regardless of whether or not the fuel cell cars are cleaner, which most experts believe that they are, Toyota is still making a big leap by taking steps to eliminate its dependence on gasoline. The company is certainly doing what it can to reduce its environmental impact.