Tokyo — TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) unveiled today an action plan for contributing to the realization of a low carbon society through initiatives in the areas of research and development, manufacturing and social contribution.
"Since its foundation, Toyota has conducted its business based on the guiding principle of contributing to the development of a prosperous society through the manufacture of automobiles", said TMC President Katsuaki Watanabe, speaking at the Toyota Environmental Forum in Tokyo, where the action plan was unveiled. "Toyota seeks to combine the power of people and technology to help create a society that maintains a balance between corporate activities and environmental preservation."
Specific TMC plans are described below.
1. Research and Development
Some of the environmental and energy issues surrounding automobiles include reducing CO2 emissions (global warming measures), supporting the use of non-petroleum based sources of energy and improving air quality. TMC aims to help achieve sustainable mobility by using hybrid technology as a core means to reduce oil consumption and promote the adaptation of vehicles to energy diversification.
While adapting to energy diversification, TMC will develop vehicles that can simultaneously reduce CO2 emissions and make the air cleaner. It will commercialize such vehicles in line with the energy trends of each market based on its philosophy of introducing the right vehicle, at the right time, in the right place.
TMC is working on initiatives to reduce vehicle size and weight. The "iQ", which is planned for launch in 2008, offers revolutionary packaging—seating four people in a body less than three meters long.
Average fuel efficiency for new Toyota vehicles sold in Japan rose by approximately 28% in the 10 years from 1997 to 2007. By the end of 2010 TMC will complete transition to a new series of highly efficient engines and transmissions.
Hybrid systems are a core Toyota technology that can contribute to cleaner emissions, lower CO2 emissions and increased fuel efficiency. TMC is actively working to popularize these systems by increasing the number of hybrid models among its vehicle series.
Worldwide cumulative sales of the Prius reached 1 million units this past April and global cumulative sales of hybrid vehicles reached 1.5 million in June 2008. According to TMC's calculations, use of these vehicles has contributed to approximately 7 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions than would have otherwise been generated and has reduced gasoline consumption by approximately 2.7 million kiloliters*1.
Alternative Fuel Vehicles
Flexible Fuel Vehicles*2
Bio-fuel Flexible Fuel Vehicles
In 2006, TMC adapted all of its vehicles sold worldwide to E10 fuel and in May 2007 introduced flexible-fuel "Corolla" models in Brazil that can run on E100.
TMC will introduce the E85-compatible flexible-fuel Tundra and Sequoia in North America in 2008.
*2. Vehicles that are specially designed to run on either gasoline alone or on a blend of gasoline and ethanol
Electricity (Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles/Electric Vehicles)
Verification tests are currently being conducted in Japan, the United States and Europe, as plug-in hybrid vehicles—which can be used as electric vehicles for short trips and as conventional hybrid vehicles for traveling longer distances—represent the most promising approach.
Hydrogen (Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle or FCHV)
TMC has developed the "TOYOTA FCHV-adv", which features a newly designed high-performance Toyota FC Stack fuel cell. The TOYOTA FCHV-adv received vehicle-type certification from Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport on June 3.
The TOYOTA FCHV-adv features a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency, and, through the use of TMC-developed 70Mpa high-pressure hydrogen storage tanks, has a single-fill-up cruising range of approximately 830 km (in the 10-15 Japan test cycle; 760 km in the JC08 test cycle; as measured by TMC), which is more than twice the cruising range of its predecessor, the TOYOTA FCHV.
The TOYOTA FCHV-adv can be started and operated at –30 degrees Celsius, greatly improving its cold weather performance. TMC is steadily overcoming the technological hurdles associated with fuel cell vehicles and will focus next on solving problems related to maintaining reliability and reducing costs.
Alternative Fuel Supplies
TMC's involvement in alternative fuel utilization includes a variety of initiatives aimed at ensuring fuel supplies.
Infrastructure and Driver Support
Solving global warming and energy-related issues cannot be accomplished solely through automotive technology; it is essential to address issues throughout society, taking into consideration the actions of drivers and the state of the transport infrastructure. As an automaker, TMC is supporting activities in these areas.
In terms of infrastructural development in Japan, TMC is working with various government ministries to improve traffic flow by reducing traffic congestion. One potential method for accomplishing this is to find practical applications for the Probe Communication Traffic Information System*3.
As one way to support environmentally considerate driving, TMC will increase the number of vehicle series equipped with the Eco Driving Indicator, which lights up when the vehicle is being operated in a fuel-efficient manner, and with the Eco Driving Mode Switch, which puts the vehicle in an energy conserving mode by monitoring and controlling such functions as gear-shift timing and air conditioner settings.
*3. Gathers traffic information and provides drivers with specifically tailored driving information.
TMC is continuing to actively seek greater environmental responsiveness in its production and logistics through greater reduction of CO2 and further consolidation of environmental management. In addition to existing initiatives, TMC is also strengthening the global implementation of "sustainable plant" initiatives as another means of reducing CO2 emissions.
CO2 Emission Reduction Results and Targets for TMC Production
TMC is reducing CO2 emissions from its production activities, based on its "Fourth Toyota Environmental Action Plan" (2006 to 2010*4). Because TMC has already achieved its original 2010 targets, it has set new targets and strengthened its approach.
*4. Unless otherwise noted, the years mentioned are from April 1 to March 31.
2010 CO2 Emission Reduction Targets, Results and New Targets
"Sustainable Plant" Activities
"Sustainable Plant" activities were begun in July 2007 with the aim of emphasizing the role of nature through the creation of production sites that are in harmony with their natural surroundings. TMC is implementing its "Sustainable Plant" activities with the following in mind:
1) Energy reduction through development and implementation of low carbon production technologies and through daily kaizen (improvement) activities
2) Energy conversion using photovoltaic and other renewable energy sources
3) Tree planting for fostering exchanges with local communities and protecting ecosystems
Model Plant Initiatives
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi, Inc. (TMMMS) is expected to begin production—with an innovative production line—in around 2010. TMMMS is also actively promoting tree-planting activities as part of its effort to achieve a harmonious balance between the local community and the environment.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd. (TMUK) and Toyota Motor Manufacturing France S.A.S. (TMMF) serve as model plants.
Ban Pho Plant of Toyota Motor Thailand Co., Ltd. in Thailand is Asia's model plant. In addition to its cogeneration system and solar panels, the plant recycles wastewater, employs waterborne metallic paint at vehicle body paint lines and has maintained zero landfill waste since the beginning of its operations. This year in August, as part of its plant "greening" activities, Toyota plans to conduct one of the largest-ever tree-planting events in Thailand, with 10,000 people planting 100,000 trees.
3. Social Contribution
TMC promotes programs for the development of forestry, human resources and the local community in countries and regions throughout the world, believing that community-based initiatives are just as necessary for a sustainable level of environmental preservation as initiatives on the national or international level. TMC will continue to strengthen and enhance its contribution to environmental preservation by sharing the knowledge and experience gained with society at large so that the initiatives can be more widely implemented.
Examples of Key Initiatives