Toyota to develop alternative fuel with other Japanese automakers

On Saturday, Toyota Motor Corp claimed that it would partner with four other Japanese automakers to explore the feasibility of alternative green fuels for internal combustion engine cars, including hydrogen and synthetic fuels derived from biomass. 

The companies, which include Mazda Motor Corp, Subaru Corp, Yamaha Motor and Kawasaki Heavy Industries in addition to Toyota, made the announcement at a race track in Okayama, western Japan, where Toyota is driving hydrogen cars.

The hydrogen race car is being driven by Toyota chief executive Akio Toyoda and other Toyota drivers. 

It is technically difficult to convert internal combustion engines to green fuels such as hydrogen, but doing so would enable companies to support decades-old existing supply chains employing hundreds of thousands of workers that they might otherwise have to switch to making electric vehicles (EVs). 

As nations tighten environmental regulations to cut carbon emissions, automakers, including Toyota, are ramping up production of EVs. Japan has said it aims to be carbon neutral by 2050 and is promoting the use of hydrogen fuel. 

Toyota plans to have 15 EV models by 2025 and is investing $13.5 billion over the next decade to expand battery production capacity. At the same time, however, it continues to develop hydrogen-powered vehicles.