Toyota R&D Head Says ICE Dead by 2050

Toyota’s head of R&D predicts that the internal combustion engine will be dead by 2050.

Seigo Kuzumaki, Toyota’s head of advanced research and development and engineering made the prediction, speaking to Autocar.

“We expect that by 2050 we will have reduced CO2 emissions from vehicles by 90 percent compared to the figure in 2010,” said Kuzumaki. “To achieve that from 2040 simple internal combustion engined cars will not be made, but they may be the basis of some hybrid or plug-in hybrid cars.”

Toyota is one of the leaders when it comes to electrification. Almost 43 percent of all electrified vehicles sold around the globe are Toyotas. Most of those cars, though, are hybrids. Toyota’s Prius is the best-selling electrified car in the world.

As emissions regulations become more and more strict, and more and more jurisdictions announce bans on diesel and gasoline cars, the speed of electrification will likely increase. And while some places will make the move more slowly than others, Kuzumaki believes that any combustion engines made after 2040 will be hybrids or plug-in hybrid systems because of the new regulations.

SEE ALSO: Toyota Looking Into North American Suppliers For New EV Lineup

A prediction of just 10 percent of cars being hybrids means lots of EVs. That’s an area where Toyota is currently lacking. The company is working on a family of electric vehicles expected around 2020. The early cars will likely use lithium-ion batteries, but reports circulated earlier this summer that Toyota was developing solid-state batteries and would likely have them production ready by 2022.

Those new-tech batteries allow for faster charging, with an energy density 2.5 times that of a lithium-ion battery. They’re smaller and safer and provide better performance. That makes them a key breakthrough in EV technology.

Kuzumaki expects Toyota to be ahead of the curve when it comes to solid-state battery adoption.

“We hold more patents on solid-state batteries than any other company,” said Kuzumaki. “We are getting close to developing cars using the technology, and we believe that we will be ahead of our rivals in achieving that.”


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Senate Tax Plan Keeps EV Credits

The EV tax credit dropped in a proposal by the U.S. House of Representatives could be back, if a plan by the Senate is approved.

Last Thursday, the Senate released a tax reform package that kept the Plug-in Electric Drive Vehicle Credit intact. That’s the up-to $7,500 credit designed to make plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles more affordable to more people.

When the House version came out with no more credit, automakers and environmental groups came out loudly lobbying to bring it back. Affordable EVs like the Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf, and Tesla Model 3 are starting to gather steam in popularity and on sales charts, but removing the credit would move the vehicles out of the budgets of many buyers.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, an auto industry lobby group spoke out in a statement.

“There is no question that the potential elimination or phase out of the electric vehicle tax credit will impact the choices of prospective buyers, and make it more challenging for manufacturers to comply with electric vehicle mandates in 10 states,” the statement read.

SEE ALSO: New Bill Could Mean End of Federal EV Incentives

So if the House says no, and the Senate says yes, what happens to the credit? If the two tax plans are approved but different, then they go to a special conference committee. Made up of members of the Senate and House, the committee will work to come to a consensus about the different provisions in the law.

If the plans go to committee with such large differences, then it’s likely that some changes will be made to the tax credit. That could see the amounts change, the requirements change, a purchase price cap, or even establish income thresholds to qualify for the credit.

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