“I don’t want to leave any car lover behind,” said Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda speaking at the Tokyo Auto Salon in Chiba, Japan on Friday. To that end, the Japanese automaker is proposing a plan to swap out the engines of existing cars with more environmentally-friendly alternatives — think fuel cells and electric motors. The goal is to speed up a global shift towards eco-friendly vehicles.
The Associated Press (AP) reports that Toyoda emphasized that Toyota still has the resources and expertise to remain a dominant player in the green vehicle market. Still, he did acknowledge that it would take a while for all vehicles to be completely emissions-free. According to the CEO, upgrading older cars with new technology is an efficient solution.
Toyoda also sought to dispel the notion that green cars are less exciting to drive than traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. To demonstrate Toyota’s commitment to the “conversion” strategy. he showcased battery-electric and hydrogen-powered versions of the Toyota AE86 series, including the Toyota Corolla Levin.
As the automotive industry undergoes a major transformation due to concerns about climate change, automakers face increasing pressure to reduce their environmental impact. Toyoda said that while many countries are beginning to appreciate the auto industry’s progress toward becoming more eco-friendly, Japan has yet to recognize the value of these efforts.