Toyota Motor Corp., which currently stands as the second largest car manufacturer in the world, is planning to reduce the carbon emissions of its vehicles to near zero within the next 35 years. The move is part of its advocacy for environment-friendly vehicles.
The Japanese automobile corporation is bound to its commitment of producing eco-friendly means of transportation. The 78-year-old carmaker is currently aiming to sell 30,000 of its fuel-cell automobiles by 2020.
It was reported that 350 Toyota Mirai were already sold, which is in line with Toyota's sales milestone for its fuel-cell car. Moreover, Toyota also revealed that next year, it will boost the Mirai's production to roughly 2,000 and 3,000 by 2017.
Toyota's fuel-cell technology powers the car using electricity generated from the mixture of hydrogen, which is stored in tanks within the vehicle, and oxygen, which is taken from the air that goes in from the front intake grills. The two gasses meet in the fuel cell stacks where the chemical reaction causes electricity to be produced.
"When we first announced the Mirai, we said we were at the start of the age of hydrogen," said senior managing officer Kiyotaka Ise. "The figure we've announced today is ambitious, but it needs to be to keep the ball rolling."
The corporation predicts that by 2050, vehicles running on internal combustion engines will have disappeared from the roads. This is aligned with Toyota's goal of bringing carbon emissions from its vehicles down to zero, or at least near zero by the same year.
However, due to the scarcity of Hydrogen fuel stations, Toyota is yet to release the vehicle globally. Moreover, the Mirai production is still in its infancy. Toyota only produces three of it per day at its main facility in Tokyo.
Other companies, such as Hyundai, a South Korean automobile manufacturer, is also geared towards producing fuel-cell vehicles for consumers. It is expected to unveil its fuel-cell car before the month ends.
It should be noted that Toyota, along with General Motors, Honda, Ford, Nissan and Chrysler, were already committed eco-friendly vehicles since the 1990's. Toyota released the first variant of the RAV 4 EV in 1997 and continued to produce it until 2003. The electric SUV was powered by nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery packs that enabled it to run roughly 120 miles between charges. Hundreds of RAV 4 EV (1997-2003) are functional today.
However, after General Motors sold the patents to Texaco, which was subsequently purchased by Chevron, NiMH was prohibited from being assembled into large automotive battery packs, courtesy of the patent of encumbrance filed by Cobasys, a Chevron subsidiary.