As automakers transition towards zero emissions and cleaner mobility, there is still the matter of vehicles that still use internal combustion engines (ICEs). Despite automakers boosting their efforts in making a greener world, there are still over 1.4 billion vehicles in the world that run on ICEs.
Toyota, however, is exploring possible solutions to clean the world's legacy fleet of ICE vehicles that will still be operating in 10 – 15 years. But what exactly are the possible solutions Toyota could come up with for that?
The automaker is not stating any specifics just yet. However, they did mention the possibility of using hydrogen as an alternative fuel. Just recently, Toyota has been busy testing a hydrogen-powered engine. Instead of gasoline, their new engine will use hydrogen that Toyota claims is a 'cleaner fuel'. That might help them realize a carbon-neutral future.
But what about existing vehicles that still use ICEs? Well, Toyota might be able to retrofit their older cars with new technology to improve emissions. With Toyota's know-how in making hybrids (and plug-in hybrids), perhaps they can use technologies such as a belt-starter generator (BGS).
That allows a vehicle to be a 'mild hybrid' since the BGS acts as both an alternator and starter motor. The mild-hybrid system can let the engine shut off and take a break under certain conditions like coasting, reducing fuel consumption thanks to a battery pack. It can also gather energy during braking to charge up the batteries and then use that same energy for faster acceleration while under load. Should Toyota go with this route, most modern vehicles could likely be converted to run as a mild-hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV).
With many possible ways and solutions at Toyota's disposal, the automaker may be onto something here. With their goal of achieving carbon neutrality, as well as boosting hybrid and electric car production, Toyota vehicles with ICEs may become as clean as hybrids.