By using renewable energy and hydrogen-based production methods Toyota wants to completely eliminate CO2 emissions from manufacturing and vehicle use by 2050.
Working towards this in the ten years between 2010 and 2020 Toyota plans to reduce the average CO2 emissions from its new vehicles by more than 22 percent.
The challenge is composed of six individual challenges across three areas: ever-better cars, ever-better manufacturing and enriching lives of communities.
Addressing 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.
In addition to achieving these long-term targets, Toyota is announcing its Sixth Toyota Environmental Action Plan, which will be enacted between April 2016 and the end of March 2021.
With its goal to produce ever-better cars Toyota is aiming to reduce its global average new-vehicle CO2 emissions by 90 percent by 2050 compared to its 2010 global average.
Globally, Toyota is currently launching 14 new engines of all sizes that have greater thermal efficiency to produce fuel economy improvements of more than 10 percent over the motors they are replacing.
In the immediate future Toyota is targeting annual global sales of over 30,000 fuel cell vehicles by around 2020, with at least 10,000 a year in Japan.
In the next 18 months it plans to start selling fuel cell buses, focusing on Tokyo with at least 100 on the road by the time of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Toyota has made 5680 fuel cell patents freely available and is collaborating with other motor manufacturers to support the development of hydrogen infrastructure so fuel cell vehicle uptake can be increased.
Toyota is aiming for sales of 1.5 million hybrids annually and 15 million hybrids cumulatively by 2020, with a broader product line-up. It reached the 8 million mark earlier this year and is currently selling 1.1 million hybrids a year.
It is developing more efficient batteries and silicon carbide semiconductors with higher energy density and high temperature durability to improve the range of electric and plug in electric vehicles.
Toyota sees the Prius having a combined fuel consumption of just 3.4 litres/100kms thanks to its more sophisticated powertrain.
The 2016 Prius, which arrives in New Zealand in the first quarter next year, is built on an all new platform – Toyota’s new global architecture (TNGA) - which allows for better positioning of powertrain components for a lower centre of gravity, as well as providing the basis for attractive, low-stance designs, responsive handling, a high-quality drive feel, and collision performance.
The body is 20mm lower and the nose is 70mm lower so Prius cuts through the air with a drag co-efficient of 0.24 to help reduce fuel consumption.
The 1.8-litre motor has been completely reengineered with reduced internal friction. Electrical losses in the hybrid system have been reduced by better mechanical alignment of electrical components.
Toyota is planning to halve production process-related CO2 emissions per vehicle from new plants and new production lines from 2001 levels by 2020, and roughly a third more by 2030. Reducing the amount of material and the number of parts used with simple and slim production methods will help cut CO2 emissions in manufacturing.
It is developing manufacturing technologies that use hydrogen as a power source, and will begin testing it on Fuel Cell Vehicle production lines by around 2020.
Wind power produced on-site will power Japan’s Tahara Plant by around 2020.
Sustainable production technology is being introduced at Toyota’s new Mexico plant which will start manufacturing in 2019 so that CO2 emissions per vehicle manufactured are at least 40 percent lower than its global 2001 levels.
From this year entirely locally-produced renewable electricity – wind, biomass and hydro -electricity – is being used at factories in Brazil.
Minimising and optimising water usage is another goal for Toyota’s global environmental sustainability, with effective wastewater management and minimizing water consumption. Through the implementation of Toyota’s water management policy, the use of rain water and increase in water recycling is expected to provide a waste water quality cleaner than local river water.
Toyota also wants to establish a recycling based society and systems with a global rollout of end-of-life vehicle treatment and recycling technologies, including designing vehicles for easier disassembly. It will start by establishing two recycling projects in Japan in 2016.
Enriching lives of communities
Finally Toyota wants to establish a future society more in harmony with nature with the rollout of conservation activities beyond the Toyota Group and its business partners with three future-oriented global projects in 2016 around forestry, environmental grants and education.
This has already started with the planting of 8.6 million trees in Hebei Province, China which is suffering desertification.