The journey to a decarbonised transport fleet in New Zealand will be driven by a range of low carbon-emitting powertrains including hybrid engines - not by a reliance on battery electric vehicles.
That’s the view of the world’s largest car maker, Toyota.
Responding to the Climate Change Commission final advice to the government, Toyota New Zealand welcomed the Commission’s amended view that efficient petrol and diesel cars can also contribute to emissions reductions from transport.
“Toyota definitely supports the government’s transition plans to a low emission economy,” says Neeraj Lala, Toyota New Zealand chief executive officer.
“We believe a multi-powertrain strategy focusing on different low emitting engines is the best way to reduce carbon emissions as a country while meeting customer needs.”
Neeraj says the Commission’s final advice to the government clearly showed it had listened carefully to the concerns of the car manufacturers.
While still calling for a ban on internal combustion engines by 2035, the Commission said the country “should import more efficient vehicles until EVs are widely available and affordable”.
The supply of BEVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle will increase over the next few years, however hybrids remain the best alternative today to start the CO2 reduction journey, as new hybrids are nearing price parity with petrol versions and hybrids are abundant on the used vehicle market.
“EVs are not the silver bullet for three compelling reasons,” says Neeraj. “They are priced beyond the reach of most car buyers, they continue to be in short supply, and cheap EVs sourced from new markets will not be highly rated from a safety point of view.
“We see hybrids as a way that we can act quickly as a country to reduce CO2 emissions with the current supply and infrastructure constraints that surround BEVs and PHEVs.
“We are already seeing Kiwi consumers taking these options up at a faster pace, with more than an 800 per cent increase in our hybrid sales over the past five years.”
Hybrids have contributed to an average CO2 reduction of 20g/100kms across the hybrid Toyota range. As a result, Toyota is on track to meet its Clean Car CO2 target of 164gm/km before the target date of 2023.
The Lexus portfolio is already well under its 2023 target of 176gm/km and is on track to surpass the total industry target of 105gm/km by 2023.