Toyota’s Durban plant undertakes to be carbon-neutral by 2035

The company has made it its mission to be fully able to generate 100% renewable energy by 2028. 

It is the beginning of a new year, and with all the challenges on hand – load-shedding, fuel price increases and supply chain problems – the question remains, where is all of this leading?

These questions were all taken under the loop at the sixth State of the Motor Industry event, hosted by Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM).

Simon Humphries on Toyota and Lexus design  

“The industry spent the last 100 years following a tried and tested formula, but right now we are undergoing an unprecedented period of upheaval. We now have five powertrains, we are connected, and ownership was dominated by privately owned cars. Driving used to be all about the driver, but now we are increasingly supported in the operation of the vehicle, and where there was only steel, new materials and production technologies make it possible to create almost anything we can imagine. Put very bluntly, just about every factor that influences the design is undergoing a paradigm shift…”

Andrew Kirby on sales and carbon neutrality  

The president and CEO of TSAM, Andrew Kirby, predicts that a total of 570 000 vehicles will be sold in South Africa this year – including 375 642 passenger, 161 317 light commercial vehicles and 33 041 others. “We got to this calculation based on how we see the market, coupled with what we can physically supply as Toyota. I must just stress that if stock constraints weren’t a real factor, we would actually be forecasting a 580 000 market.

“Toyota takes a holistic approach to carbon neutrality, which means that the company addresses carbon from a lifecycle assessment perspective where carbon emissions are tackled throughout the value chain; not just targeting the end product, which is a vehicle with zero emissions. This touches on many areas, including how we source materials from our suppliers, how we manufacture our cars, what powertrains we put in them, how we sell them and even how we dispose of them at the end.”

Toyota believes that hybrid technology still has an important role to play in this carbon journey. Data just released by Toyota has shown that three hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) equal one battery electric vehicle in CO2 reduction. Locally, Toyota has confirmed that its 2022 product roll-out strategy requires that by 2025, at least 20% of vehicles sold in South Africa would be new energy vehicles.

From an operations perspective, TSAM is on course to achieve carbon neutrality for its production plant in Durban by 2035. The organisation plans to be able to generate 100% renewable energy electricity by 2028.

Leon Theron on new vehicles and Toyota Gazoo Racing

The senior vice president of sales and marketing at TSAM, Leon Theron, is pleased that Toyota is still South Africa’s favourite brand in the six decades it has been operating in the local motoring industry. “Despite our challenges, we retained a very similar market share to 2021 (25%). Of course, our share would have been bigger had we not had the supply constraints due to non-production caused by the floods at our Durban plant,” said Theron.

New vehicles to be introduced by Toyota

  • Toyota Mirai: “This is the company’s flagship hydrogen-powered fuel-cell electric vehicle, not available at our dealers yet. TSAM’s ongoing collaboration with Sasol, for example, on green hydrogen, will take a step forward, now that we have these fuel cell electric vehicles in our hands, but we will elaborate on this at future events.”
  • Lexus UX BEV: “Once we’re ready for the BEV roll-out, this will be one of the first models in our battery-electric portfolio. So, with this in mind and to ensure we are fully prepared once the BEVs go to market, the UX BEV puts out 150kW, which translates to a 0-100km/h sprint time of 7.5s. It boasts a potential range of 450km.”
  • Lexus NX PHEV: “These models will become more mainstream over the next transitional period. Key numbers for this one are a 60km range in full electric mode, and this one dispatches the 0-100 in 6.2s.”
  • Lexus RX: “The new-generation RX range comprises five models, including hybrid and a petrol variant. The model we’re showing here today is the plug-in hybrid, which will only join the local line-up later.”
  • Toyota Crown: “This all-new model sedan is only available as a sample introduction until a few units retail this year. Under the bonnet, the Crown 2.5 E-Four Hybrid boasts a total system output of 176kW and fuel consumption of 4.4L/100km.”
  • Toyota Fortuner: “The refreshed Fortuner sports an aggressive new styling with revised LED headlamps, front grille and bumper treatment. There is also an added red-and-black interior trim option.”
  • Toyota Vitz: “The Vitz takes over the mantle from the outgoing Agya, which has already established our presence in the A segment. It will be in showrooms during the second quarter of this year.”
  • Toyota Urban Cruiser: “Built in Toyota’s plant in India, this model boasts an all-new SUV design, a larger body with more space, increased safety specification, climate control, cruise control and reverse camera. The all-new Urban Cruiser will also go to the market during the second quarter.”

Source: MotorPress

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