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In a recent media event, Toyota Motor, along with Subaru and Mazda Motor, showcased next-generation engines that can be utilized in a variety of cars, including hybrids and those running on biofuel. The displayed 1.5 litre and 2.0 litre engines are in development and offer significantly reduced volume and height compared to current engines. The three companies aim to optimize integration with motors, batteries, and electric drive units to help decarbonize internal combustion engines and make them compatible with alternative fuel sources like e-fuels and biofuels. Toyota, with its stake in Subaru and Mazda, hopes that the more compact engines will allow for lower hoods and revamp vehicle design.

Toyota’s new 1.5 litre engine is expected to achieve a 10% reduction in volume and weight compared to its existing engines used in cars like the Yaris compact. Similarly, the new 2.0-litre turbo engine will have gains versus existing engines used in larger models like three-row seating SUVs. The Chief Technology Officer of Toyota, Hiroki Nakajima, has not disclosed a specific timeline for the launch of models equipped with the new engines. With markets like the European Union imposing stricter emissions standards, automakers are under pressure to develop engines that align with these regulations to reduce CO2 emissions.

Despite the growing popularity of electric vehicles, Toyota is continuing its “multi-pathway” approach to carbon neutrality by offering vehicles with different powertrains. In the first quarter of this year, Toyota sold about 2.4 million vehicles, with nearly 40% being petrol-electric hybrids. Plug-in hybrids, fuel-cell, and all-battery electric vehicles accounted for only a small percentage of sales. Chairman Akio Toyoda has expressed his belief that electric vehicles will have a market share of 30% at most, with other powertrains like hybrids, hydrogen fuel-cell, and fuel-burning vehicles making up the rest.

The evolving landscape of emissions regulations and the push towards carbon neutrality are driving automakers like Toyota, Subaru, and Mazda to develop innovative solutions like next-generation engines. By focusing on engine development that is compatible with alternative fuel sources, these companies aim to address the challenge of reducing CO2 emissions while also offering a range of vehicle options for consumers. Toyota’s commitment to a “multi-pathway” approach to carbon neutrality reflects its strategy of providing a diverse range of powertrains to meet varying consumer preferences and regulatory requirements. With the development of compact, efficient engines, these automakers are positioning themselves to meet stringent emissions standards and adapt to a changing automotive industry landscape.

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