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Akio Toyoda, grandson of the founder of Toyota, has switched to frontal attack mode at the suggestion of the Japanese government to reduce CO2 emissions from the transport sector by switching to electric vehicles. In addition to being the CEO of Toyota, he is also the chairman of the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA), making him a great influence in his home country. (It also has a significant impact on politics in the US and other countries.)
The Japanese government is committed to drastically reducing CO2 emissions by 2030 (that’s in just 8 years for those of you who do not regularly consult a calendar). The government has also announced the goal of making Japan climate neutral by 2050.
At the recent regular meeting of JAMA, Toyoda rejected the proposed emissions targets. “Japan is an export-dependent country. Thus, for Japan, carbon neutrality is synonymous with an employment problem. Some politicians say we need to turn all cars into electric vehicles or that the manufacturing industry is out of date, but I don’t think that’s the case. In order to protect the jobs and lives of the Japanese, I feel it is necessary to align our future with our efforts so far. ”According to Inside EVs, he told his colleagues that switching to all EVs would be an expensive mistake were. “That would mean the production of more than 8 million units would be lost and the automotive industry could lose most of the 5.5 million jobs. If they say internal combustion engines are the enemy, we could almost not produce vehicles. ”
He argues that any country should be free to reduce emissions in any way possible as long as the goal is met. He clearly thinks this means more and more Synergy Drive hybrids based on 25 years of technology paired with many, many hydrogen fuel cell powered cars. Toyoda doesn’t seem to notice that no one is buying their stupid Mirai. He also doesn’t seem to be aware of the fact that Japan is an island nation and is more at risk of sea level rise than most countries.
“The enemy in achieving carbon neutrality is carbon, not that Combustion. In order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, practical and sustainable initiatives are required that correspond to the different situations in different countries and regions. “
Not surprisingly, says Toyoda, that hybrid vehicles can still make a significant contribution to carbon neutrality, although they are equipped with internal combustion engines. Because hybrids are cheaper than electric vehicles and can penetrate markets in which there is no charging infrastructure. In addition, technical improvements ensure that hybrids get cleaner every year. He insists that hybrids can be used as a bridge technology moving the world towards EVs and zero emissions, which will lessen the blow to the workers who make parts for engines and transmissions.
That “bridge technology” nonsense is the same cod passed around by proponents of unnatural gas. Because it burns cleaner than coal, they call it a “bridge fuel to the future,” while ignoring the damage to land from fracking, the diesel emissions associated with compressing and pumping through thousands of miles of pipelines, and the environmental degradation caused by methane leaks.
Akio Toyoda is right about one thing – Japan’s economy is heavily dependent on exports. It is well known that making electric cars requires less labor than making vehicles with hellish internal combustion engines. Fewer parts mean fewer workers. It’s that simple.
But the problem doesn’t just affect Japan. The worldwide love affair with individual transport means that automobile manufacturing is one of the predominant sources of employment in most countries. It’s also more than just an assembly line worker. For every job in the factory, there are 6 more at suppliers, salespeople, office workers, banks and credit companies, and service companies, to name just a few. With their lower service and repair requirements, electric cars will affect the service departments of the car dealerships and the independent workshops.
Akio Toyoda wants to save his own skin. It ignores the IPCC 6 report and all other scientific studies warning that the earth is getting dangerously hot for humans. He worries about his generous salary and the value of his stock options, rather than focusing on the problem – many people will wake up dead over the next few decades due to global warming and pollution from fossil fuel burning that shortens life .
Yes, workers need to be protected during the transition. Volkswagen has made fairness towards its employees a central part of the switch to electric cars. It set the standard by which other automakers are judged.
Akio Toyoda, you have been weighed on the scales and found defective. The only constant in life is change, and those who do not acknowledge this fact (or refuse) are doomed to be swept away by the barrage of new ideas. You can cry and moan and grit your teeth as you wish yourself back to the good old days, but it won’t do you any good. Adapt or die. It’s your decision. There are no guarantees that the world’s largest automaker will still be around in 2050 or 2030.
Effective leaders recognize and embrace change. Failed leaders always look to the past and are likely to be overwhelmed by change. Bill Watterson is the brilliant cartoonist who created Calvin and Hobbes. On November 21, 1990, he wrote a cartoon in which Calvin says, “Living for the moment is my motto. You never know how long you have time. You could go out on the street tomorrow and – WHAM! – You are hit by a concrete truck. Then you would be sorry for putting off your joys. So I say live for now. ”Then he asks Hobbbes,“ What’s your motto? ”To which Hobbes replies,“ Look down the street. ”Someone should share this wisdom with Mr. Toyoda.
Steve writes about that Interface between technology and sustainability from his homes in Florida and Connecticut, or wherever the singularity might lead him. You can follow him on Twitter, but not on social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.
Originally posted on EVANNEX. By Charles Morris If you can’t beat them on your own, maybe you can team up with someone else to beat them ….
Originally posted on EVANNEX. By Charles Morris As it becomes clearer that electric transportation is the future, the haters, luddites and boos are in full swing … Toyota is in the world of EV enthusiasts as one of the top foot tugs in the world Known to the auto industry. Ironically outside of the …
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