Written evidence from Toyota Motor Europe (ELV0048) 





13 September 2023

Please see below for Toyota Motor Europe’s submission to the House of Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee inquiry into electric vehicles, call for evidence.

This submission focuses on questions relevant to Toyota’s position as a manufacturer and retailer of vehicles that use different electrification technologies, together with a business profile and details of Toyota’s multi-technology roadmap for delivering carbon neutrality.

Some responses cover a number of questions – this is clearly indicated in the text.

About Toyota

  1. Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) is one of the world’s leading automotive manufacturers, producing in excess of 10 million vehicles a year. It has production facilities in 27 countries around the globe and its cars and commercial vehicles are sold in more than 170 countries.


  1. The European region is a major centre for Toyota’s manufacturing, vehicle sales and research and development. The company has consequently developed an extensive supply chain in the region. Since 1990, it has invested more than €10 billion in its European businesses, and it directly employs around 20,000 people locally.


  1. The UK continues to play a significant role in Toyota’s European operations. It is here that Toyota built its first European production facilities – an engine plant in Deeside, North Wales, and a car factory at Burnaston, near Derby. These plants came on stream in 1992, since then Toyota has invested more than £2.75 billion in Toyota Manufacturing UK (TMUK). Today TMUK directly employs around 3,000 people and many thousands more indirectly in an extensive supply chain and retail network.


  1. Burnaston was Toyota’s first plant in Europe to produce full hybrid electric vehicles. Today it is the European centre of production for the Corolla Hatchback and Touring Sports full hybrid electric models. Deeside was the company’s first facility to manufacture hybrid engines outside of Japan; currently it supplies units for the Corolla, Corolla Cross and Toyota C-HR models. Full hybrid electric variants account for 100% of the vehicles and 85% of the engines currently produced at TMUK. Electrified vehicles including full hybrid electric (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV), battery electric (BEV) and fuel cell electric (FCEV) accounted for more than 75% of Toyota’s UK new vehicle sales in 2022.


  1. The majority of TMUK’s vehicle production (around 85%) is exported, mostly to the European Union and other European markets. Europe and the UK are important world markets for Toyota, both in terms of customer volume and the uptake of its electrified models – including its new generation of zero emission battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles.


  1. TMUK is also engaged in future technology R&D, leading a consortium to develop a prototype hydrogen fuel cell electric version of Toyota’s Hilux pick-up model. This project has received UK Government funding through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).

Toyota and Carbon Neutrality

  1. Toyota has made a commitment to achieving carbon neutrality worldwide by 2050. In Europe it has confirmed its intention to achieve full carbon neutrality 10 years earlier, by 2040. In September 2022, Toyota Motor Corporation was certified by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as meeting the 1.5˚C standard with its reduction targets.


  1. The company will be ready to achieve a 100% CO2 reduction in all its new vehicles sold in the UK, European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) region by 2035, subject to the necessary supporting conditions being in place, including infrastructure and sustainable energy supplies.


  1. Additionally, Toyota Motor Europe (TME) is progressing towards the goal of making all its European manufacturing facilities – including the TMUK plants at Deeside and Burnaston – carbon-neutral by 2030. TMUK Deeside is aiming to become a carbon neutral operation by 2025, which would make it the first Toyota plant globally to achieve this status.


  1. This will be achieved through a multi-faceted programme that includes minimising energy consumption, increasing the use of renewable/sustainable energy and applying continuous improvement innovations to reduce or eliminate carbon emissions in its operating processes.


A multi-technology strategy for vehicle decarbonisation

  1. Toyota believes that, without question, carbon is the enemy. It has a historic commitment to reducing carbon as much as possible and as quickly as possible; its record shows that it has done so faster than any legal requirements. The company is proud of its historical leadership in taking positive steps towards carbon neutrality, having drawn up and implemented a global plan, the Toyota Global Environmental Challenge in 2015. This set out a framework and timetable for decarbonising all aspects of its worldwide operations by 2050.


  1. Toyota has consistently been a leader among principal manufacturers in Europe in terms of its fleet average CO2 emissions – an achievement all the more notable when considering the brand’s model range covers the full spectrum of vehicle types from city cars and family hatchbacks to larger SUVs and luxury coupes.


  1. To achieve these aims, Toyota does not confine its strategy to a single solution, but has instead taken a multi-technology path, identifying, developing, and bringing to market different technologies appropriate for different mobility requirements and environments worldwide. These include HEVs, PHEVs, BEVs and, harnessing the clean energy potential of hydrogen, FCEVs. Toyota is accelerating its development and introduction of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs), both battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric. Globally, it will introduce 30 zero emission models by 2030, giving it a full line-up across both the passenger and commercial/business market segments. In Western Europe (including the UK), Toyota’s Lexus brand will be 100% ZEV models by 2030.


  1. On the route to carbon neutrality, Toyota seeks to engage with all stakeholders and has organised external Sustainability Forums to explain its strategy, be challenged on its activities and receive new ideas. It sees real value in helping as many people as possible access cleaner mobility technologies during the important transition to ZEVs, true to its guiding corporate principles of “mobility for all” and “leave no one behind”. Its multi-technology approach has enabled continuous reduction in CO2 emissions while meeting the diverse needs of customers and responding to local market conditions. The progress to zero emissions is, however, also reliant on delivery of enabling conditions, such as access to a charging infrastructure, the provision of a clean energy supply and vehicles that are affordable to purchase and run and practical for consumer needs. A supply chain ready to support electrification and provision of the necessary raw materials will also need to be secured.


  1. Toyota’s multi-technology strategy for decarbonising vehicles has seen cumulative global sales of its electrified models reach more than 22 million units since the introduction of the first Prius hybrid in 1997. Toyota calculates that these vehicles have together saved the equivalent of 160 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, compared to equivalent non-electrified vehicles.


16.              For many years, Toyota has also been investing in energy diversity, new battery technologies and the potential of hydrogen as the basis for a future clean energy society.




The role of battery electric vehicles in decarbonisation

  7. Toyota believes that battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have a significant role to play in achieving zero carbon mobility.
  8. It has already brought a number of models to the UK market, including both passenger cars and vans. It will steadily increase its BEV range, supporting a European technology mix ambition of at least 10% of its new vehicle sales being ZEVs in 2025, rising to 50% in 2030. In some markets, including the UK, the pace will be quicker, with 100% ZEV sales expected by 2030.


  1. Battery technology is key to the performance and accessibility/affordability of BEVs. Toyota continues to make large-scale investment in battery research and development and intends to bring its first solid-state battery to the market in 2027/28. Solid-state batteries have a higher output than the lithium-ion batteries featured in most current BEVs. They have the potential to allow much greater distances to be covered before recharging – Toyota is targeting in excess of 1,000km/600 miles. Recharging times are also faster, potentially just 20 minutes or less from 10 to 80%.


  1. A single battery solution is not appropriate in markets where people have widely different mobility requirements. In addition to its solid-state battery programme, Toyota is also developing low-cost batteries and units that are suitable for high-performance vehicles.


  1. These efforts are founded Toyota’s world-leading experience in producing electrified vehicles – hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric and fuel cell electric vehicles – for almost 30 years.

Electric Vehicles Inquiry: response to questions

Question 1. What are the main obstacles to the achievement of the Government’s 2030 and 2035 phase-out dates? Are the phase-out dates realistic and achievable? If not, what steps should the Government take to make the phase-out dates achievable.

Toyota and the Government have the same end goal: net zero carbon emissions. For Toyota, this does not just concern the elimination of carbon emissions from vehicles, but also from manufacturing and all associated operations, including raw materials, supply chain, logistic, end-of-life vehicle recycling and disposal and retail network operations.

Toyota is aligned with the Government’s intention for all new vehicle sales to be ZEVs from 2035 and it is actively planning to meet this target Europe-wide. In addition, all its European manufacturing operations will be carbon neutral by 2030.

In order to meet the 2030 target, it is important to use all the low carbon options available and not focus on a single technology, namely BEVs. Full hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles have played a significant role in reducing CO2 emissions and, can continue to help accelerate CO2 reduction towards 2030. Toyota’s continuous improvement of its electrified vehicle technologies has increased the efficiency performance of its hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Toyota’s full hybrid technology can continue to help accelerate the reduction in CO2, with its well-proven efficiency and ability to operate for a significant time (around 80%) and distance (around 60%) in zero emissions mode for typical urban journeys. As affordable and accessible electrified vehicles, they support the principle of ensuring “mobility for all” and a smooth transition to net zero.

It is important that clarity is provided as soon as possible on the Government’s proposed Significant Zero Emissions Capability (SZEC), the criteria which will define which alternatives to BEVs – hybrids and plug-in hybrids – can continue to be sold up to and beyond 2030.

Vehicles using these efficient, electrified technologies should continue to be sold through to 2035 on the basis of their low emissions and Significant Zero Emissions Capability performance.

Vehicles which use hybrid and plug-in hybrid technologies are also convenient, practical, and affordable to purchase and run. Toyota firmly believes that hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles must play their part in supporting the Government in the delivery of its CO2 targets.

The proposed introduction of a new Zero Emissions Vehicle Mandate in January 2024 presents a challenge in terms of timescale. The automotive industry typically works to product cycles of five to six years, so Toyota would welcome flexibility during the initial years of the mandate so that manufacturers and the full supply chain have time to adapt to meet its requirements.

Further issues, beyond the control of manufacturers such as Toyota, could jeopardise the 2030 and 2035 phase-out timetable. The progress to zero emissions is reliant on delivery of crucial enabling conditions, such as access to charging infrastructure and the provision of a clean energy supply. A supply chain ready to support electrification and provision of the necessary raw materials will also need to be secured.

With its introduction of a wide range of hybrid electric vehicles to the market Toyota has provided people with an affordable solution that have proved popular, accessible, and practical. This has enabled a transition in carbon emissions that would otherwise be impossible without a comprehensive charging infrastructure.


Furthermore, the potential of hydrogen as a ZEV technology should also be a priority, including its suitability for long-distance transport and heavy-duty haulage. For many years, Toyota has been investing in energy diversity, new battery technologies and the potential of hydrogen as the basis for a future clean energy society.

Infrastructure development should extend to support for the manufacture, distribution, and supply of hydrogen fuel for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).


A robust and accessible EV infrastructure and hydrogen refuelling station network throughout the UK is a necessity, even though it will be time-consuming and costly to deliver this in remote, rural locations. This also reinforces the importance of maintaining sales of hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles through to 2035 as well as defining a clear role for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles.


Furthermore, to meet the Government’s phase-out timetable there needs to be a societal shift to encourage significant changes to consumer behaviours, technologies, and infrastructure. The Government and all stakeholders will need to play their part in achieving these changes. 


Question 16. What is the value of alternative transport models such as car clubs and micro-mobility vehicles in the Government achieving the 2030 phase-out date, and how should the Government consider their roles and opportunities for use in transport decarbonisation?

Toyota is transitioning from its established business as a carmaker into a mobility provider, true to its mission to provide mobility for all, with no one left behind. It is developing new, sustainable micro-mobility solutions and ways for people to access mobility that better suit their personal needs and preferences. It is also supporting innovation in connected mobility, where personal and public transport are co-ordinated and accessible. It is important that the Government and all stakeholders take the opportunity of the decarbonisation programme to support the development a new mobility eco-system that takes into account the mobility needs of everyone in society.


Question 18. What are the main challenges that UK consumers face in their use of EVs?

Question 19. What are the main benefits that UK consumers could realise from using an EV?

Question 32. What are the issues facing rural residents, urban residents, and sub-urban residents and how do they differ?

These questions all concern the consumer experience and touch on Toyota’s commitment to provide mobility for all, with no one left behind. It is essential that in the progress towards carbon neutrality, communities and individuals are not disadvantaged because of their location or social status.

A robust and accessible EV infrastructure that extends to all parts of the UK is a necessity. It will also inevitably be time-consuming and costly to establish in remote, rural locations. This reinforces the importance of maintaining sales of hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles through to 2035. This will help ensure that people in locations where infrastructure is slow to arrive are not penalised simply on the basis of where they live.

Furthermore, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles have the flexibility to cover significantly greater distances than BEVs, which have a more limited range and necessary down-time for recharging. These qualities are of importance to people living in remote locations, where long journeys may be necessary to reach services such as health care, education, and shops.

In the transition to zero carbon, the focus needs to be wider than just battery electric vehicles to include other electrified options. Consumers will realise real-world benefits in being able to access hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that have the potential to maintain or even accelerate the rate of reduction in CO2 emissions and improve air quality. With carbon as the enemy, Toyota believes in using all potential powertrains to reduce and ultimately eliminate emissions. These include hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric as well as zero emission battery electric and fuel cell electric vehicles.


Question 7. What are the likely costs that will be faced by consumers as a result of the Government’s phase-out dates for non-zero emissions vehicles?

Affordability is key issue for consumers considering purchase of a BEV or other ZEV. Although day-to-day running costs may be lower, the initial purchase cost is currently higher than for an equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle. The market will take time to mature, both for new vehicles and the establishment of healthy used vehicle parc.

Toyota’s business model is established on the principle of “providing the right car, in the right place, at the right time”. True to this principle, Toyota hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric models can provide an alternative that is affordable for more consumers, and which can contribute to continued reduction in CO2 emissions towards 2035. This would help avoid a scenario where motorists unable or unwilling to make the change to a ZEV, choose to hold on to their higher polluting petrol and diesel vehicles for longer.


Closing comments

Toyota does not confine its strategy to a single solution, but has instead taken a multi-technology path, identifying, developing, and bringing to market different technologies appropriate for different mobility requirements with a historic commitment to reducing carbon as much as possible and as quickly as possible.

Toyota will continue to enter any further discussions with Government, based on constructive dialogue to address these and other associated issues.