5 Dec 17

Hybrid today, hydrogen tomorrow

One thing is for sure: Toyota is not amongst OEMs that firmly believe in the future of diesel. Under the intriguing title “Start your impossible”, the brand’s European General Manager Fleet & Leasing, Dave Cussell, took the audience at the Remarketing Forum on a journey to a future in which electricity – and electricity alone – fuels our mobility. By 2050, the carmaker wants to sell only emission-free vehicles.

Thank you, dieselgate

So far, Toyota Motor has sold 11 million HEVs worldwide, more than 1.5 million of which on the Old Continent. Today, its lineup comprises 34 HEV models worldwide, and 16 models are available with a hybrid powertrain in Europe.

Especially in the past two years, Toyota and Lexus have the wind in their sales on a continent that has always been a tough market for the Japanese. According to Mr Cussell, this is partly due to dieselgate and the fact that people are increasingly aware of the benefits of a hybrid powertrain. Also, diesel RVs are dropping, whilst hybrids are clearly performing better year after year.

I told you so… And I will tell you again

Other OEMS, reluctantly, have to admit that HEVs are the way forward, not least with CO2 targets in mind. Toyota indeed took the right decision two decades ago to go all out in field of electrification – and it’s ready to take the next step: electric powertrains fuelled by hydrogen. This sustainable fuel tackles range anxiety and charging time.

Here too, the Japanese are convinced that others will follow. To ensure that they do, Toyota’s FCEV (fuel cell electric vehicle) patents are open: every OEM can freely apply Toyota-based hydrogen technology – free of charge. The goal is to sell hydrogen-powered vehicles for the same price as an equivalent hybrid by 2025. All that remains to be done, is for OEMs, energy companies and authorities to deploy an H2 refilling infrastructure.

In the meantime, Toyota sees battery electric vehicles (BEV), hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) coexist, increasingly taking the place of conventional combustion-engine vehicles.

Authored by: Dieter Quartier