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Subaru's CEO Atsushi Osaki, Toyota's CEO Koji Sato and Mazda's CEO Masahiro Moro pose at a press conference in Tokyo. Picture: REUTERS
Subaru's CEO Atsushi Osaki, Toyota's CEO Koji Sato and Mazda's CEO Masahiro Moro pose at a press conference in Tokyo. Picture: REUTERS

Toyota Motor showcased next-generation engines on Tuesday that can be used in cars as varied as hybrids and those running on biofuel, as it targets tougher emissions standards and doubles down on its strategy of selling more than just electric vehicles (EV)s.

At a media event with peers Subaru and Mazda Motor, the world’s biggest vehicle maker by volume displayed in-development 1.5l and 2.0l engines with significantly reduced volume and height versus current engines.

“With these engines, each of the three companies will aim to optimise integration with motors, batteries, and other electric drive units,” they said in a joint statement. Toyota owns about a fifth of Subaru and roughly 5% of Mazda.

The three said their efforts will help decarbonise internal combustion engines by making them compatible with alternative fuel sources such as e-fuels and biofuels. They also hope more compact engines will revamp vehicle design by allowing for lower bonnets.

Toyota was widely considered an EV laggard but a slowdown in EV growth has seen it benefit from an uptake of petrol-electric hybrids. Refreshing its traditional engine technology against that backdrop mirrors a similar move at Mercedes-Benz, while BYD is set to unveil new hybrid technology with lower fuel consumption later on Tuesday.

The Japanese vehicle maker said its new 1.5l engine would achieve volume and weight reduction of 10% versus its existing 1.5l engines that is used in cars such as its Yaris compact.

The new 2.0l turbo engine will have similar gains versus existing 2.4l turbo engines used in bigger models such as three-row seating sport utility vehicles (SUVs).

Chief technology officer Hiroki Nakajima declined to say when Toyota will launch models equipped with the engines.

Carmakers face tougher emissions standards in markets such as the EU where policymakers are working towards emissions rules known as “Euro 7" for cars and vans from 2030, before banning sales of new CO2-emitting cars from 2035.

While EVs have become more prominent in recent years, Toyota has been following a “multi-pathway” approach to carbon neutrality with vehicles offering a range of power trains.

It sold about 2.4-million vehicles in January-March of which nearly two-fifths were petrol-electric hybrids. Plug-in hybrid, fuel-cell and all-battery electric vehicles together accounted for just 2.9%.

Chair Akio Toyoda in January said EVs would reach a global auto market share of 30% at most, with hybrids, hydrogen fuel-cell and fuel-burning vehicles making up the rest.

Reuters

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