Most commentary on climate change today focuses on the limited progress and monumental change required, the major risks associated with inaction and the cost of adapting our economy and society to a low carbon future. At Toyota, we have always chosen to lead and move away from the herd, to look at things differently and consider the benefit for Ireland of becoming a leader on climate action, hence why we ceased our production of diesel passenger cars in 2018.
We are proud to be the car brand leading the way in terms of the reduction of CO2 emissions here in Ireland. So much so, we have had the lowest average CO2 emissions of Irelands top 10 best selling car brands over the last 5 years.
So why should we reduce our carbon dioxide emissions? Well, there are a number of reasons!
Firstly, is to improve the quality of air we breathe each and every day. With the degradation of air quality comes decreased accessibility of outdoor spaces and damage to clean land and water.
Secondly, to grow our economy. Not only will we improve of public health as a result of reducing our carbon emissions, the global economy will also benefit from a cleaner environment. Clean, green energy is more appealing from an economic standpoint than ever before. The reduction of electrical use within homes and businesses, longer-lasting hybrid-electric fuel-efficient vehicles are only a few of the factors that will push the economy towards more success.
Finally, and arguably the most important reason to reduce CO2 emissions, to delay climate change. Climate change is the central cause of increased droughts, sea-level rise, drastic weather events. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the number one key to working towards a cleaner, greener, safer, and healthier society around the globe.
According to Deloitte’s Shifting Sands 2020 research**, consumers are orienting their consumption decisions towards companies that link to their values and lifestyles. The research found that 68 per cent of consumers (in this survey) cut down on single use plastic, 43 per cent chose brands that have environmentally sustainable practices and values.
While consumers may feel confused about environmental credentials and certifications, they want to do the right thing, and want to engage with brands that show purpose and align to their values. As Ireland’s best-selling and most trusted car brand***, we have experienced this shift in consumer spending first-hand and is a testament to the Irish people who are choosing the right car for now and the future.
A lot of people will ask, “why hybrid?” and why we chose to focus our attention on hybrid technology. The truth is that when we chose to focus on hybrid technology, we did so with the vision to create a world with fully decarbonised transport and a brighter, cleaner future for everyone. We’ve led the way, putting our money where our mouth is, investing in hybrid electric technology - long before it was fashionable, long before any other car brand.
Building for a better world is at the core of everything we do at Toyota, that’s why we continually refine and improve our self-charging hybrids, like our all-new Yaris, Car of the Year 2021. The all-new Yaris produces 18% less CO2 than the previous generation and can achieve up to 80% EV driving in urban areas - meaning no emissions.
Today, cars last on the road between 12 to 15 years, and the CO2 gas stays in the atmosphere for years. Over 100,000 tonnes of CO2 will be saved over their lifetime by the Toyota hybrids sold in 2019 and 2020 versus petrol and diesel cars. In 2020, Toyota had an average CO2 level of 89.9g/km compared to the Irish motor industry average of 106.2g/km*.
Corporate Average Fuel Economy or CAFÉ for short, are a list of regulations to improve the average fuel economy of cars. It attempts incentivise automakers to produce more fuel efficient vehicles by imposing penalties on the production of inefficient vehicles. We’ve already surpassed the minimum requirements imposed by CAFÉ and we continue to produce the lowest emissions of all mass market passenger car manufacturers.
So, obviously we can’t see CO2, which can make it difficult to gain an understanding into what difference has been made. To visualise the amount of CO2 savings Toyota has made globally since our introduction of Hybrid technology, it’s quite simple. Picture the Eiffel Tower, one of the world’s most well-known land marks and once the world’s tallest structure at 300 metres in height. Now picture 14,000 of them! Yes, 14 THOUSAND!
This equates to roughly 140 million tonnes of CO2. That’s a lot of CO2. Speaking on our CO2 savings, Masahiko Maeda, Toyota’s Chief Technology Officer, had this to say: “From 1997 to last year (2020), we sold 17 million electrified vehicles globally and reduced CO2 emissions by 140 million tons, which is equivalent to 14 thousand Eiffel Towers, since the Eiffel Tower in Paris weighs about 10 thousand tons.”*
**Deloitte’s Shifting Sands 2020 research
***Toyota Motor Corporation