Toyota pledges to further drop emissions

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Words: Nile Bijoux
4 Sep 2018

Toyota New Zealand is pushing towards a zero-carbon future after the Productivity Commission’s final report on a low emissions economy.

Toyota New Zealand is pushing towards a zero-carbon future after the Productivity Commission’s final report on a low emissions economy.

“The actions our business has already started taking, demonstrate our commitment to action on climate change,” says Alistair Davis, the CEO of Toyota New Zealand. “We take our responsibilities to the environment seriously.”

“Action on climate change can be a competitive advantage,” added Davis, who pointed to Toyota’s increasing sales of fuel and carbon saving hybrid electric vehicles to the New Zealand market.

While Davis says it will take several decades for the transport industry to significantly reduce its carbon footprint, signs are positive. “Our parent company has a long-term plan by 2050 to reduce emissions from its fleet and activities worldwide by 90 per cent. That will directly help our efforts here.”

Other points Davis makes include:

  • The high proportion of renewable electricity in New Zealand means the conversion of the national fleet to electric and hybrid vehicles will play a crucial role in meeting the commitment of the transport and motor industry to reducing CO2 emissions.
  • One way to encourage suppliers and consumers to move toward lower-emission vehicles would be a feebate scheme that charges high emission vehicles and rewards low emissions. This could be complemented by a maximum age for imported vehicles, as the older the vehicle, the more emissions it typically produces.
  • However, road taxing will be necessary for the future to compensate for the fall in fuel tax revenue to maintain and build new roads for the growing population.
  • New Zealand also needs to encourage a greater scrappage rate of old vehicles which produce more emissions, as the rate has dropped with their greater reliability.

“These are difficult choices to shift New Zealand to a low emissions economy.”

“Social equity and fairness issues will have to be addressed. This will take decades and needs political consensus and long-term commitment from the Government and the motor industry to be successful.”

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