Toyota launches new ‘Team Japan’ initiative to keep the ICE alive with e fuels
Toyota, Subaru, Mazda, Kawasaki and Yamaha
Toyota has formed a new alliance with four other Japanese brands to develop synthetic fuels to keep the ICE alive. The company’s CEO Akio Toyoda has been very vocal about BEVs in recent years, believing that while it may be a good short-term solution, it won’t be as effective in the long run, not to mention the fact that batteries are expensive and complicated to make.
Just a few days ago, Toyota refused to sign the agreement to phase out fossil-fuel vehicles by 2040 and it has now launched this new initiative, dubbed ‘Team Japan’, with Subaru, Mazda, Kawasaki and Yamaha. Together, these five brands will not only work on alternative solutions such as fuel, but also on things like hydrogen.
Toyota and Subaru are already working on a new type of carbon-neutral fuel for racing, and in the meantime Toyota and Mazda are jointly developing a new 1.5-litre Skyactiv-D engine powered by biodiesel. As for Yamaha and Kawasaki, they will be working on a hydrogen engine for motorcycles.
The largest Japanese automaker and manufacturer of the best-selling car of the last twenty years (the Corolla, ed.) has been working with hybrid technology for a very long time, and they’ve also launched a new BEV - the bz4x crossover - because that’s what the market requires but the company has never believed in battery-powered electric vehicles as viable and definitive solution to reduce emissions, more like a stopgap measure.
I’ve had a look on Twitter, Reddit and other forums and, as expected, ‘Team Japan’ has already divided opinions. Some praise Toyota, some think this is stupid. Time will tell.
What do you think? Is this the right choice, or should they do what everyone else is doing and put all their eggs in the BEV basket? Let me know in the comments below.