Toyota Continues to Push Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology Despite Challenges
Toyota, the Japanese automaker, has not been deterred by the lack of success of its hydrogen fuel cell Mirai in terms of sales. In fact, the company is planning to accelerate the adoption of hydrogen fuel cell (FCEV) technology. In its latest sales and production report, Toyota has shown year-on-year growth in both performance results globally. The total sales of electrified vehicles, both inside and outside Japan, have increased significantly. This positive trend is observed across various regions, including North America, Europe, Asia, China, and others. The sales performance of Toyota’s FCEVs has also been positive, except in its home country.
Hydrogen fuel cell EVs use an electric motor, similar to battery EVs, but they source power from a fuel stack where hydrogen is stored. The worldwide sales for FCEVs have increased for September, the last nine months, and the last six months by 166%, 22%, and 77% respectively. These remarkable results are mainly attributed to the carmaker’s sales outside Japan, with a whopping 289% increase for September. Looking at the yearly achievements, FCEV sales peaked in 2021, and the company expects this trend to continue in 2023.
Despite the relatively low sales of hydrogen vehicles, Toyota remains committed to investing in and developing its hydrogen fuel cell technology. In October, Toyota partnered with Isuzu to mass-produce a light hydrogen fuel cell truck. The truck will be based on Isuzu’s light-duty truck platform and powered by Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell system. Toyota’s FCEV technology faces competition from other automakers such as Hyundai, Honda, Nissan, and Daimler. However, Toyota made headlines when it announced plans to roll out 200,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles, targeting Europe and China. This strategic shift in focus aligns with Toyota’s goal of reducing carbon emissions and achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
Toyota aims to achieve zero carbon emissions in three areas: lifecycle, new vehicles, and production at plants. The company plans to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% throughout a vehicle’s life cycle by 2030 compared to 2019 levels. Additionally, Toyota aims to achieve carbon neutrality for average emissions from new vehicles by 2050. To reach this goal, the company has set near-term targets for GHG emissions reduction from new vehicles by 2030 and 2035. Finally, Toyota plans to achieve zero CO2 emissions from production at plants by midcentury. The company will employ various strategies, including the purchase of carbon credits from other companies, to tackle the environmental challenges at its factories.
Despite the challenges faced in its home country, Toyota’s global sales growth for FCEVs showcases its commitment to advancing hydrogen fuel cell technology. The company’s focus on reducing planet-warming emissions and achieving net zero targets remains unwavering. Toyota’s pursuit of hydrogen fuel cell technology continues to drive its success in the global market.