Koji Sato took over as CEO of Toyota on April 1, replacing Akio Toyoda, a position that has already made some statements that are very much in line with Toyoda’s. In the last interview with Autocar, he talks about solid-state batteries, e-fuel and hydrogen.
The Japanese brand’s strategy is not far from that of its compatriots at Honda, who do not yet see the feasibility of 100% electric cars. Which means that its ‘zero emissions’ launches are rarer and slower than other manufacturers such as Volkswagen, which aspire to exclusively sell vehicles with this type of clean propulsion in the near future.
If at Honda they believe that electric cars will not be viable until at least 2040 or 2050, then at Toyota they hope to develop solid-state batteries. In fact, they expect to launch a hybrid with this type of battery in 2025, which will be a test bench for considering whether or not this technology is worth opting for in 100% electric cars.
We are talking about Toyota, the largest car-selling manufacturer in 2022, whose five models are among the top 10 in the world. At the top of the list was the Toyota Rev4, although they’re already asking on a Tesla Model Y that took bronze.
The Japanese brand also hopes to develop neutral synthetic fuels to give continuity to thermal engines. Something that other manufacturers such as Porsche and the Stellantis Group rely on as well.
Not so Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz, which have already openly assured that they do not think about this option in the long term, but rather to give viability to cars that have already been sold. And Mercedes-Benz talks about a 100% electric range for the year 2025.
Toyota ignores feeding the thermal engine with hydrogen, which should not be run from a hydrogen fuel cell. This is something that has been testing in the Toyota GR Yaris and Toyota GR Corolla race cars for some time now, and which even Akio Toyoda expressed his confidence in.
In other words, the Japanese firm will invest in a variety of technologies, while keeping the promise of carbon neutral emissions by 2050.