Japan to Phase Out Gasoline-Powered Cars, Bucking Toyota Chief

TOKYO-Japan plans to discontinue sales of new gasoline vehicles by the mid-2030s, criticising the following points

Toyota Motor Corp.

Chief that a rapid transition to electric vehicles could undermine the automotive industry.

The plan, which was released Friday, follows similar actions by the state of California and major European countries, but meets with the opposition of the automotive industry leaders in a country that still produces millions of vehicles per year that run exclusively on gasoline.

Japan will allow the sale of gas-electric hybrid vehicles after 2035, as planned. Many models of the major Japanese car manufacturers – Toyota,

Honda Motor Co.


Nissan Motor Co.

-Welcome to the traditional and hybrid versions.

Earlier this month, the president of Toyota…

Akio Toyoda

said that if Japan bans gasoline-powered cars and switches to electric vehicles too soon, the current business model of the automotive industry will collapse. He spoke on behalf of the Japanese car manufacturers as head of the local industry association.

Toyoda said the electricity grid cannot cope with the extra demand in the summer, noting that most of the electricity in Japan is generated by burning fossil fuels.

Government officials have said car makers need to rethink their business models. Prime Minister

Yoshihide Suga

highlighted another part of Mr Toyoda’s comments, in which the head of Toyota stated that he supported the government’s objective of making Japan carbon neutral by 2050. Reducing carbon emissions should be seen as a growth strategy, not an obstacle to growth, Suga said.

The Japanese initiative was crowned with a year in which the world’s largest economies competed to set targets for renewable energy and electric vehicles. This has increased pressure on global car manufacturers to accelerate their transition to gasoline vehicles, although many now benefit from American consumers who are hungry for gasoline and sports cars.

Earlier this month, the European Union agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% below 1990 levels by 2030. September,

Gavin Newsom, Governor of California.

has submitted a petition to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel passenger cars in the State by 2035.


Japan– Officials said car manufacturers need to revise their business models to accelerate the transition to giving up gasoline vehicles. Traffic in Tokyo in April.


kimimasa mayama / hatch stock

In the same month, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said in a video message to the United Nations that China will be carbon neutral by 2060, meaning the country will have no net carbon dioxide emissions. A few weeks later, Mr Suga defeated Mr Xi by promising to do the same ten years earlier, in line with the EU’s objective.

In the Christmas edition of the Japanese government, which also wants to add 45 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2040, all new cars sold in the country will be electrified from the mid-2030s onwards. These are electric cars, gas-electric hybrid models and cars whose electricity is produced by hydrogen fuel cells. The plan foresees that the cost of batteries will fall, so that in ten years’ time electric cars will cost about the same as petrol cars.

A draft plan published by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Trade and Industry expresses concern that Europe and China are lagging behind Japan. The Commission has found that sales of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the EU more than tripled between July and September to around 270,000 units, while the corresponding figure in Japan was around 6,000.

Masayoshi Arai,

According to a Ministry official, Japan is lagging far behind in the field of vehicle electrification.

The leaders of the Japanese car manufacturers seize these claims and claim that more gas-electric hybrid cars are sold in Japan than in any other country. Some wonder whether all-electric vehicles, such as those produced by

Tesla Inc.

are more environmentally friendly than hybrids, given the carbon dioxide emitted in the production of EVs and their components.

This is absolutely not a case of Japan being left behind, he said.

Toshihiro Mibe,

Honda’s CEO, who chairs the industry’s Green Technology Council.

Toyota and Honda have not yet published concrete plans for mass sales of electric vehicles in the United States and Japan, leaving them behind.

Volkswagen AG

which plans to invest approximately $86 billion over the next five years in the development of electric vehicles and other new technologies. Nissan says it will sell the Ariya electric crossover in the U.S. and other markets next year.

China is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2060, which is the largest climate commitment of all countries. Even if Beijing will struggle to achieve its goal, China’s plan to become a green superpower will have a ripple effect all over the world. Illustration: Crystal type

The major car manufacturers are rushing to switch to electric cars and convincing investors that they can succeed despite low consumer acceptance.

General Motors Co.

Last month, the company increased its focus on electric and driverless cars by more than a third, for an investment of $27 billion by 2025. Today, electric vehicles only account for about 2% of the total sales of GM and the industry as a whole.

The Detroit-based auto giant plans to fully electrify 40 percent of all cars sold in the United States by the middle of the decade. If Japanese policy encourages Toyota, Honda and other Japanese car manufacturers to invest more in technology, the emerging market could become more competitive globally.

The announcement comes because the United States plans to increase government investment in electric vehicles as part of the President-elect’s energy plan.

Joe Biden

will be carried out after he takes office in January. He promised to create a million new jobs in the automotive industry, including the construction of charging points for electric vehicles. His plan calls for half a million new charging stations in the United States.

The president-elect said he hopes to use government incentives, including tax, trade and investment policies, and increased research and development to make the United States a world leader in electric vehicles. He said he would give consumer discounts and incentives to companies that produce components for low-emission vehicles and support the strengthening of federal fuel-saving standards.

Mr Biden’s presidential transition team did not respond to a request for comments.

-Andrew Restuccia contributed to this article.

Email Peter Landers at [email protected] and Chieko Tsuneoka at [email protected].

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