Toyota has big plans to kill the internal combustion engine by 2050, completely changing how everyone gets around. While other companies and people have talked about such a goal (most notably Tesla Motors) they don’t have the market clout of Toyota, one of the largest automakers in the entire world.
The whole goal isn’t the eradication of the petroleum industry, but instead to slash vehicle emissions by 90 percent come 2050, according to a recent report from. That might sound like a long shot to some, but Toyota isn’t going it alone. Instead, it’s actively recruiting “stakeholders” or other companies, governments and other influential parties. To make such a huge shift, it’s going to take more than amazing technology, it will also require humans to rethink everything about how they get around.
Not everyone is a fan of Toyota’s plan. It leans heavily on hybrid powertrains in the short-term, with hydrogen fuel cells becoming a bigger component over time. Noticeably absent from the whole scheme are electric cars, which have lately been gaining considerable market momentum. It’s marking a big difference between Toyota and some rivals which are moving more toward electric vehicles, such as Nissan and General Motors.
Some automakers think that the fighting about different alternative fuels is useless. Honda and Volkswagen have both shown an interest in using electric and fuel cell powertrains, seeing both technologies as a way to slash emissions and wean everyone off petroleum.
Meanwhile a rosy picture for fuel cell vehicles is being painted by Toyota, which thinks electric cars are a passing fad. The company projects that by 2020, it will sell over 30,000 fuel cell cars. At the moment, the only Toyota fuel cell vehicle is the Mirai, which hit the market in 2014. So far, about 1,500 orders have been received for the new car.
Of course there are critics who are calling Toyota’s estimates fantasy, but the company insists they are based on thorough research and solid numbers.