Clean Technology Canada

Toyota shows off a new type of engine using green fuel

May 28, 2024
By Associated Press

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“An engine reborn.”

That’s how Japanese automaker Toyota introduced plans to cast a futuristic spin on the traditional internal combustion engine.

During a three-hour presentation at a Tokyo hall on May 28, the car manufacturer giant announced it would offer lean compact engines that also run on so-called green fuels like hydrogen and bioethanol, or get paired with zero-emissions electric motors in hybrids.

This comes as many competitors in the auto industry are pushing for fully electric vehicles. China is revving its push for Battery Electric Vehicles, and its own BYD is threatening to outshine Tesla in that push.

Toyota’s Chief Executive Koji Sato said the “engine is optimized for the electrification era” with hopes of helping push the world into “carbon neutrality.”

Toyota already has a well-known hybrid car — the Prius — with a gas engine and an electric motor. It switches between the two to deliver a cleaner drive.

In future hybrids, the electric motor is set to become the main driving power, and the new engine will be designed to take a lesser role and help it along, according to Toyota.

Domestic allies Subaru Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp., both preparing ecological engines designed to meet the inevitably upcoming stringent emissions standards, joined Toyota ‘s presentation billed as a “multi-pathway workshop.”

“Each company wants to win, but we can be faster if we work together,” said Sato.

But details on when the engines were coming to market weren’t disclosed.

The legacy of the car engine could be felt everywhere.

Mazda said that its prized rotary engine, introduced more than 50 years ago, was being adapted for electric vehicles.

Subaru, meanwhile, showcased its trademark smaller horizontally opposed engine. While Chief Technology Officer Tetsuro Fujinuki confirmed the company was working on a great “Subaru-like” electric vehicle, he said the company wasn’t about to dump the engine altogether.

Toyota, too, is working on stylish BEVs.

The executives said on May 28 that energy supply conditions differed globally, adding that products had to meet various customer needs and the investments needed for mass-producing BEVS were enormous.

Toyota officials also repeatedly noted that 5.5 million jobs were at stake in the overall supply chain for vehicle production in Japan nowadays, so a sudden shift to electric cars wasn’t economically possible or socially responsible.

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