Toyota aims for cars with high-efficiency solar tech to achieve carbon neutrality

Japan Times -- Oct 12
NAGOYA – As automakers shift their focus to electric vehicles to achieve carbon neutrality, Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday it will aim to equip its cars with highly efficient solar power generation systems.

Toyota will carry out research and development with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, which has expertise in renewable energy production, and Toyota Central R&D Labs Inc., a firm in the same group as the automaker that is focused on achieving technological advances.

“The three parties will seek to popularize vehicles equipped with solar power generation systems. … To this end, (we) will pursue improvements in conversion efficiency and reductions in cost for both solar batteries and solar power generation systems,” Toyota said in a statement, without giving details about the in-vehicle systems.

Based on data collected by the national institute, Toyota is seeking to improve the conversion efficiency of solar power generation systems and batteries, and bring down costs to allow for wider adoption.

To achieve its goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050, Toyota will also step up the development of technology to produce and transport near emission-free hydrogen at lower costs.

Automakers are shifting their focus from conventional internal combustion engine cars to electrified vehicles as a way to do their part in reaching greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. Carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gas emissions are blamed for global warming.

Toyota has set a goal of increasing its global sales of electrified vehicles to 8 million units in 2030, offering a variety of options from hybrids to hydrogen-powered fuel-cell cars.

The company said last month that it plans to spend ¥1.5 trillion on the supply and development of batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles by 2030.

Toyota has said it will look to make a number of improvements to its batteries to lower the total cost of EVs. The company is targeting a per vehicle cost reduction of 50% for its future batteries.