Toyota outlines ambitious plan to slash CO2

Goals: 30,000 fuel cell cars and 15 million hybrids by 2020; 90% reduction in emissions by 2050

Goals: 30,000 fuel cell cars and 15 million hybrids by 2020; 90% reduction in emissions by 2050

TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp. aims to sell 30,000 fuel cell vehicles and 7 million additional hybrids by 2020 as part of a sweeping new environmental plan to slash carbon dioxide emissions.

The carmaker’s top brass outlined the objectives Oct. 14 as the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, aiming to all but eliminate the carbon footprint of its fleet and factories.

Among the goals, Toyota targets a 90 percent cut in average carbon dioxide emissions from new vehicles by 2050, compared with 2010 levels. And more ambitiously, it aims to achieve zero carbon dioxide emissions at factories in that timeframe.

The vision reduces the traditional internal combustion engine to just the tiniest sliver of Toyota’s total deployment by 2050.

The goals signal a ramped-up push by Toyota to establish itself as a global clean car leader. And they dovetail with last year’s release of Toyota’s Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle and next month’s launch of the next-generation Prius flagship hybrid.

Toyota’s focus on hydrogen and hybrid technologies draws a clear battle line against Volkswagen AG. The German rival staked much of its own green car strategy on clean diesels only to suffer a backlash after admitting it rigged emissions tests.

“Let us resolve at least one of the problems of the 21st century,” Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada, the chief engineer of the original Prius, said at an environmental forum.

“We wanted to mobilize all of Toyota’s strengths.”

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