Toyota is aiming to strengthen its environmental initiatives by lowering carbon output in key areas of research and development, manufacturing and social contribution (we're unsure on the last one too).
Hybrid model Camry, Prius, Rx400h, GS450h, LS600hL & Hino truck.
The plan is to reduce CO2 emissions through the use of non-petroleum based sources of energy, thus improving air quality. Basically this will be done by ramping up Hybrid technology over the coming years, reducing the size and weight of motors, inverters, batteries and the likes and by also reducing the size and weight of vehicles according to their purpose.
In the interim, flex-fuel vehicles capable of running on E10 through E85 fuels, and even E100 in Brazil will help take Toyota forward until such time as plug-in hybrids become available in late 2009 (in Japan, Europe and the US).
Toyota is also investing heavily in new technology Lithium-Ion batteries which will see full-scale production in 2010, fuel cell hybrid (FCHV-adv) vehicles, biomass-to-liquid (BTL) fuels, and bio hydrofined diesel (BHD - as an alternative to petroleum based diesel) to ensure no stone is unturned in finding a solution to powering vehicles in the future.
It is Toyota's belief that global warming and energy related issues cannot be solved through automotive solutions alone and that transport infrastructure, governmental actions and the actions of society (including drivers) must also combine to achieve progress on this front.
To assist drivers, Toyota will fit 'Eco Driving Indicators' to their vehicles which when illuminated mean the vehicle is being driven in an economic manner - reminds me of the Econogauge in early model Commodores. This is based on feedback from throttle pressure, gear selection, braking application pressure and overall fuel consumption rate.
The initiatives from Toyota's "Fourth Toyota Environmental Action Plan" are highly commendable and show how new targets can be achieved through a diverse and strengthened approach. Kudos Toyota.