The chief executive of Toyota Ireland, Steve Tormey, commented to us this week on the Government’s climate action plan. He also gave his view on other connected subjects such as the challenges that lie ahead and Toyota’s perspective on the most viable solutions towards a zero emissions motoring environment.
Tormey said: “As a company for whom sustainability and the environment are at the heart of our DNA, Toyota Ireland welcomes the announcement of the climate action plan and the Government’s ambition to achieve 100 per cent zero emissions motoring for all new cars purchased from 2030 onwards.
“While the 2030 goal will not be an easy one to reach, Toyota is committed to playing its part and leading Ireland towards zero emissions motoring as we have been doing for the past 22 years with hybrid electric. Given the myriad challenges facing full electrification, from the global shortage of lithium for batteries through to the inherent challenges associated with creating a charging infrastructure that can cater to one million vehicles, it is our view that there is no silver bullet to reducing CO2 output.
"From our perspective the best potential to achieve the 2030 goal lies in a mix of alternatively powered vehicles. As such, over the coming years we will continue the development of our hybrid electric vehicles [which we do not need to plug-in], which are already delivering the lowest CO2 output of any car brand in Europe and have a major role to play in the next decade. In addition to this, our plan is to supply a range of zero emissions vehicles including the hydrogen powered Mirai which emits water that is pure enough to drink, as well as battery powered electric vehicles.
“Toyota was the first mainstream car brand to cease the sale of diesel passenger cars in 2018, and in Ireland, hybrid electrics now account for more than 80 per cent of our new car sales. In 2019 alone, the new Toyota hybrids sold will result in the reduction of 60,000 tonnes of CO2 from our environment over the course of their lifetime. This saving comes from the fact that our new hybrid electrics drive in zero emissions mode up to 62 per cent of the time and deliver similar emissions savings on long commutes and in rural environments."
He concluded: “Decarbonising the car fleet will require a huge effort on the part of Government and industry over the coming years and we look forward to greatly contributing to the effort and helping effectuate a more sustainable environment and cleaner air for future generations.”