Toyota plans for near-demise of petrol cars

Toyota is planning to dramatically reduce the number of conventional carbon-emitting cars it makes by the middle of this century.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, the Japanese car making giant said it wants to be making mainly gas-electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fuel-cell cars and electric vehicles by 2050.

Any petrol or diesel cars Toyota continues to make by that date will be sold in regions without the necessary infrastructure for charging electric or hydrogen vehicles.

"It wouldn't be easy for gasoline and diesel cars to survive," Senior Managing Officer Kiyotaka Ise told media in Tokyo.

"With such massive decline in engine-powered cars, it's like the world is turning upside down and Toyota has to change its ways."

According to the BBC, Toyota is aiming to sell 30,000 fuel-cell vehicles a year and 1.5 million hybrid cars a year by 2020.

In Japan last December, the company released its first hydrogen fuelled car, the Mirai. As a hydrogen fuelled vehicle, it emits only water vapour. However, it also features a hybrid system and can run on petrol.

Ise told reporters Toyota has so far sold 350 of the Mirai vehicles. It wants to sell 2,000 next year and 3,000 in 2017.

"When we first announced the Mirai, we said we were at the start of the age of hydrogen," he said.

"The figure we've announced today is ambitious, but it needs to be to keep the ball rolling."

Toyota added that it aimed to eliminate carbon emissions from its production facilities by 2050 by using renewable and hydrogen-based energy.