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Accessible, “green”, shared: the future of the car according to Toyota

TOWARDS A NEW MOBILITY – Accelerate towards the ecological transition. Making the car of tomorrow truly accessible. Reach the carbon neutrality by the middle of this century. The goals are those chasing all the major car manufacturers, pressed by the “green” policies and environmental measures of the European Union. What makes the difference, in a scenario that has never been as broad and complex as the current one, will be the trajectory to be given to the ball to send it into the net. There Toyota, which with almost 10.5 million vehicles sold in 2022 confirmed its position as the world’s leading manufacturer in terms of volumes for the third consecutive year, has forecast more than one. And now that the going is getting really tough, with the future of internal combustion engines greatly reduced in Europe following the regulation on emissions recently approved by the European Council, the Japanese giant is preparing to reap the benefits of almost thirty years of training.

THE ELECTRIC? IT’S NOT THE ONLY SOLUTION – To better manage the game of new mobility and link every single aspect, from the reduction of polluting emissions to the evolution of the car from a private to a shared means of transport, Toyota has packaged – “packaging” it in a captivating slogan, ” Let’s go beyond” (“Let’s go beyond”, from English) – a “multi-technological” approach. The sense of the strategic reasoning, delivered yesterday to the press at a convention organized by the Italian branch in its headquarters in Rome, is that battery-powered electric cars alone will not be enough to “clean up” the planet from CO2 in a sustainable way. For the house of the three ellipses, the electric certainly remains a fundamental road to hit the target, as evidenced by the approximately 30 new battery-powered models that it plans to launch between now and 2030. But not the only one. In fact, another one runs parallel to that direction which the Japanese of Toyota began to build in “unsuspecting times”: it was 1996 when, with the FCEV-1 prototype, the new world of fuel cells was opening up. Since then, the Japanese manufacturer has made great strides in fuel cell technology. And, between traveling laboratories and vehicles ready to take to our streets, today’s hydrogen-powered electric-powered Toyota models can’t be counted on the fingers of two hands.

> In the photo above the Toyota Mirai.

HYDROGEN: FUEL CELL, BUT NOT ONLY… – That gained over the past three decades from Toyota on hydrogen, intended as an energy vector to get rid of fossil fuels, is a 360° view. And that contemplates more than one application. The most obvious, of course, are the fuel cells, with which, since 2015, the Japanese company has powered over 20,000 Mirai. But also many buses of the Portuguese Caetano, a leading company in the urban public transport at home. Co-branded Toyota, 120 are also circulating in Italy: they fill up with hydrogen in 9 minutes and promise a range of about 400 km. More or less like a half equivalent with the diesel engine. Furthermore, from 2024, Toyota fuel cells will supply energy to a new fleet of bus Daimler and the truck engines of the French start-up Hyliko. Important signals with which the Japanese company wants to reaffirm its commitment to the decarbonisation of the sector heavy transport. But there’s more: hydrogen, although still very expensive to extract, compress and transport, burning in the cylinders instead of petrol according to Toyota could also continue to operate internal combustion engines after 2035.

> In the photo above the Toyota Prius.

THE HYBRID REMAINS A GUARANTEE – Considering that it eliminates harmful exhaust emissions, from which only water vapor escapes, hydrogen could indeed represent an important piece of the future of mobility in Europe. Even if not all countries see this horizon so close. Denmark and Holland, for example, have a network that covers the entire national territory, while in Italy, at present, there are only two filling stations. But the investment package included in the Pnrr presented by our country to the European Union includes a project to give acceleration to light hydrogen mobility, with the construction of at least seventy new distributors. In the meantime, the hybrid carsa specialty for Toyota since 1997. Since then in the world it sold about 22 million500,000 of which in Italy, where on average more of them circulate than in all the other countries of the Old Continent.

> In the photo above, the Toyotas from the Kinto program.

THE CAR WILL BE INCREASINGLY SHARED – Electrified, therefore, but not only: the car of the futureaccording to Toyota, they will also be shared. This is already the case, after all, for customers of Kinto (50,000 in Italy, of which 3,000 are companies and 20 public bodies), a brand created by the Japanese giant in 2019 to simplify city travel with solutions ranging from rental to carsharing, carpooling, to travel from home to work in a group, on a single vehicle. Reducing travel costs, smog and parking anxiety.

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