Akio Toyoda, acrobatic and visionary President of Toyota, is once again being talked about for his latest proposal: to make existing old cars more ecological in order to massively reduce the carbon emissions generated by the already circulating car fleet.
The manager’s reasoning is impeccable: “If only newly manufactured cars are electrified, we will not be able to achieve carbon neutrality. We also have to consider the vehicles already on the road.” Which are hundreds of millions.
The solution proposed by Toyoda? Convert the engines of these cars to zero emissions. How? Either by replacing the old drive unit with an electric one – which, to tell the truth, many already do – or by converting the aforementioned thermal unit to the use of hydrogen, used instead of petrol (the combustion of hydrogen does not produce CO2 ). A technology that Toyota has already been working on for some time.
Toyoda immediately moved from words to deeds, presenting two such zero-emission concept cars a few days ago at the Tokyo Auto Salon, derived from the legendary Toyota AE86, grandmother of the modern GR86. More specifically, the AE86 BEV Concept ditches its petrol powertrain for a battery-powered powertrain. While the AE86 H2 Concept retains its original 1.6 4-cylinder, modified however in the fuel system, now compatible with hydrogen kept in the same tanks used by the Fuel Cell Mirai.
Finally, both retain the traditional manual gearbox, an element dear to those who love a good drive. Between the lines, a message in large letters: green mobility does not necessarily rhyme with “electric car” nor should it compromise the passion for four wheels…