Five Japanese companies exploring alternative fuels for ICEs

Most of the world is ready to shift towards electrification to save the environment. As a result, they are saying goodbye to the internal combustion engine (ICE). However, not all automakers are ready to drop ICEs altogether. Instead of phasing them out completely, they want to explore other options aside from electrification to achieve carbon neutrality.

Five major Japanese companies are teaming up to expand fuel options for using internal combustion engines – Toyota, Subaru, Mazda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha. In a joint conference, the 3 car manufacturers announced their intention to go beyond electrification to reach carbon neutrality and keep ICEs around for longer. Meanwhile, Kawasaki and Yamaha announced plans to further develop hydrogen engines for automobiles and even two-wheeled transports and vehicles.

By collaborating in the production, transportation, and use of fuel in combination with internal combustion engines, the five companies aim to provide customers with more choices aside from just battery electric vehicles.

Toyota, Mazda, Subaru unite to save internal combustion engines image

As part of the joint effort, Mazda will be joining the upcoming Super Taikyu race at the Okayama Circuit with 1.5-liter SkyActiv-D powered Demio (Mazda2) racer. Instead of traditional diesel, it will run on next-generation biodiesel fuel, which is 100% biomass-derived. By repeatedly conducting verification tests in races, Mazda intends to increase the reliability of its technologies.

Meanwhile, Toyota and Subaru will join the Super Taikyu series fielding GR86 and BRZ race cars. These won't be hydrogen-powered like Toyota's Corolla racer, though. Instead, these will run solely on carbon-neutral synthetic fuel also derived from biomass.

Aside from using biofuels, Toyota will also continue to race using hydrogen power to further development of the technology. For those unfamiliar, the automaker has been actively competing in various race series this 2021 using a hydrogen-powered Corolla racer. Toyota will also further work with companies and local governments to expand production and transport, and use of hydrogen.

Hopefully, these five companies manage to keep ICE alive for the foreseeable future through alternative fuels. Carbon neutrality is the goal, after all.