The number of diesel vehicles on Britain’s roads has risen from 3.2m in 2000 to more than 10m today, so this gives an indication of the scale of this new development. It also poses a number of questions Will we see many of the UK’s diesel (and indeed petrol) cars coming in to Ireland in the interim? What measures and mechanisms will the Irish Government use to drive us towards, electric, hybrid and other green technology cars and vans in the next 20 odd years? Higher taxation is the obvious answer to put people off certain engine technologies and and more incentives for those greener technologies where they want us to turn to in much greater numbers.
In addition to the 2040 ban on diesel and petrol engined cars and vans in the UK, Michael Gove, the British Environment Secretary has said: “The Conservatives had a manifesto promise to ensure by 2050 there would be no diesel or petrol vehicles on our roads.”
Furthermore a new analysis of pollution hotspots on UK roads has also found that 48 of the most polluted roads includes Belfast.
Hybrids not included in London’s 2040 ban
Following our coverage yesterday morning on the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in the UK announcing a ban on sales of petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040, we have been contacted by Toyota Ireland with news of where hybrid fit-in with regard to this plan.
It informs us that Toyota Europe’s London office sought clarification from DEFRA officials yesterday regarding hybrids. And it says that DEFRA have confirmed that hybrids are not included in the 2040 ban, which applies to conventional petrol and diesel engines only.
Toyota Ireland goes on to say that the Prius PHV is the only Plug in hybrid vehicle to achieve 5 out of 5 stars at the ADAC Eco test in Germany. The specially refined fourth generation hybrid is responsible for the fundamentally low electric power and fuel consumption: the 68 kW EV motors combined with a 1.8l petrol Atkinson-cycle engine bring the emissions to an extraordinarily low level. The results were 47 points out of 50 for the pollutants and the maximum number of points for CO2.
It adds that the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, but also the fuel cell Mirai (hydrogen combined consumption of 0.76 kg/100 km, combined electric consumption of 0 kWh/100 km and combined CO2 emissions of 0 g/km) along with the other hybrid models, that are now available in the eight model line-up in Europe. And it points out that the hybrid range already undercuts in Germany the 2021 CO2 targets of 95 g/km today – the Prius Plug-in and its siblings make it possible.
It concludes by saying that Toyota hybrid models make an important contribution to Toyota’s Environmental Challenge 2050, for which the Japanese automotive manufacturer has set ambitious sustainability targets for almost all business areas. A key element here: reduce vehicle CO2 emissions by 90 percent compared to 2010.
Toyota also investing heavily in solid-state batteries
Finally, for a few years now, rumours of a revolution in solid-state battery have been emanating from Japan and more specifically Toyota Corporation. One Japanese newspaper reports that by 2022, Toyota will have revolutionised technology for wide-spread adoption of battery-electric vehicles. The report expects solid-state batteries with twice the range of today’s electric vehicles with re-charging taking minutes as opposed to hours.
Toyota’s statement in Japan more or less confirmed the press reports. It said: “Among new generation batteries, at this stage, solid-state batteries are considered closest to the level of practical application required to equip vehicles for volume production. We are working on research and development, including the production engineering of solid-state batteries, to commercialise them by the early 2020s. However, we cannot comment on specific product plans.”