In recent years, Toyota has been pretty vocal about its desire to offer customers a range of mobility solutions instead of going all in on electrification like some of its competitors. It was serious when it said that, with the Japanese carmaker now announcing that it’s in the process of developing new internal combustion engines.
At the company’s recent Vision Briefing in Japan, chairman Akio Toyoda told a room filled with hundreds of managers that a “major engine development” project is currently underway.
“We will continue producing engines because they still play a role as a practical means of achieving carbon neutrality,” he said.
“Making engines may look like Toyota is turning back the clock on the trend. But that is never the case. Engines are necessary for the future.”
The announcement follows Toyoda’s gloomy predictions regarding EV sales, saying that plug-in cars will only ever make up 30 per cent of the global car market.
That’s not to say Toyota doesn’t want to produce EVs, but the chairman noted that one billion people around the world live without electricity which is why it’s important to continue offering a mix of powertrains like hybrids, fuel-cell electric vehicles, and of course, petrol- and diesel-powered ICEs.
“The important thing is not to [fully] convert to BEV or FCEV. The enemy is CO2,” Toyoda said.