Mazda, Subaru, Toyota Join Forces on Carbon-Neutral ICEs

Three Japanese automakers will collaborate to develop low-emission internal-combustion engines; Toyota joins a consortium to develop fuels to support the drive to net-zero emissions.

Paul Myles, European Editor

May 28, 2024

2 Min Read
Toyota flex-fuel project tested in Brazil since 2007.

Toyota is joining the race to develop carbon-neutral fuels for internal-combustion engines as a more practical low-emission alternative to the battery-electric vehicles for most consumers.

The automaker announces it now works with Mitsubishi and petroleum companies Idemitsu Kosan and the ENEOS Corp. in a study toward the introduction and spread of carbon-neutral fuels. It expects to be able to introduce carbon-neutral fuels into the Japanese market by 2030 with the four companies collaborating roles in supply, technology and demand.

The fuels targeted in the study include synthetic fuels (e-fuel) made using hydrogen and CO2 and biofuels made from raw materials such as plants that absorb CO2 via photosynthesis. Being in stable liquid form, carbon-neutral fuels offer advantages of easy energy storage and transportation to existing service-station networks.

Toyota says the scope of the study will be to explore scenarios and roadmaps for the introduction of carbon-neutral fuels in Japan’s automobile market and the various systems necessary for market introduction.

Idemitsu Kosan is seeking the early introduction and spread of carbon-neutral fuels while collaborating with various companies within and outside Japan. Meanwhile ENEOS is developing hydrogen and renewable-energy projects and carrying out business development of carbon-neutral fuels such as synthetic fuels.

Toyota already has some experience in the field having introduced flex-fuel vehicles, those that can run on both biofuels and gasoline, in Brazil from 2007.

New Alt-Energy Engines

At a separate event, the automaker revealed two new alternative-fuel engines developed in partnership with Mazda and Subaru.

Single-rotor EV-rotary system concept.jpg

The three companies unveiled the engines at a special ceremony in Tokyo displaying a new 1.5L engine claiming to achieve a volume and weight reduction of 10% of versus its existing equivalent engines employed by its compact vehicle lineup including the Yaris subcompact car.

Meanwhile a 2.0L turbocharged engine claims similar gains versus existing 2.4L blown engines used in larger vehicles such as 3-row utility models.

Toyota says the engines draw from the companies’ experience in the extreme conditions of racing, competing with vehicles running on liquid hydrogen and carbon-neutral fuels.

Koji Sato, president and CEO, of Toyota, says: “In order to provide our customers with diverse options to achieve carbon neutrality, it is necessary to take on the challenge of evolving engines that are in tune with the energy environment of the future. The three companies, which share the same aspirations, will refine engine technologies through friendly competition.”


About the Author(s)

Paul Myles

European Editor, Informa Group

Paul Myles is an award-winning journalist based in Europe covering all aspects of the automotive industry. He has a wealth of experience in the field working at specialist, national and international levels.

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