CHIBA, Japan — Akio Toyoda has a new proposal for the global auto industry's war on carbon levels: He wants to convert old cars to electrics.
Even if all the world's new vehicles are replaced by EVs someday, the Toyota Motor Corp. president reasons, it will still do little to cut emissions from the hundreds of millions of fuel-burning vehicles already on the road.
Moreover, there are millions of car buffs with their beloved vintage rides. How can the owner of a '63 Porsche 911 or '70 Pontiac GTO keep driving without being legislated off the road?
"If only new cars are electrified, we aren't going to be able to achieve carbon neutrality," Toyoda said last week. "We also have to consider vehicle units in operation."
Toyoda's proposed solution: Carbon-neutral conversions. Take an old car and make it green by dropping in an all-electric or hydrogen powertrain.
Toyoda floated his vision last week at the Tokyo Auto Salon tuner show, unveiling two carbon-neutral, fun-to-drive concept vehicles derived from the legendary Toyota AE86 hot hatch.
The AE86 BEV Concept ditches its gasoline engine for a battery and motor. Its AE86 H2 Concept counterpart drops its gasoline powerplant for a hydrogen-burning one.