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Toyota shifting gears to low carbon future


As the Ministry for the Environment releases its ‘Our Atmosphere and Climate 2017’ report findings, Toyota New Zealand is committed to reducing its carbon emissions while simultaneously striving to grow its market share.

“As the world shifts towards a low carbon future, the automotive and transportation industries have a critical role to play,” says Toyota New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer, Alistair Davis.

Globally, Toyota remains active in the development of alternative drive train technologies including electric, hybrid and hydrogen vehicles and has licenced patents to other vehicle manufacturers to support the wider uptake of these low emission technologies.

“The high proportion of renewable electricity in New Zealand means the conversion of the national fleet to electric and hybrid vehicles will play a crucial role in meeting the country’s commitment to reducing CO2 emissions,” says Mr Davis.

Toyota continues to expand its range of hybrid vehicles available in New Zealand in response to growing demand and recently introduced a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHV) to its used model line-up, under the Signature Class brand, as a more affordable market offering.

In the last financial year, Toyota and Lexus sold more than 1,500 hybrid vehicles in New Zealand for a 98.8 per cent share of the hybrid vehicle market.

Since its introduction to New Zealand motorists 14 years ago, Toyota has sold over 4,798 new Prius hybrids. More recently, the uptake of cleaner powertrains is building momentum with more than 3,000 Camry hybrids and 500 Corolla hybrids sold.

Mr Davis says he commends the Government’s target of 64,000 electric vehicles in New Zealand by 2021.

“One challenge is the limited availability of public charging stations. To assist with this, we are placing free charging points at Toyota dealerships around the country, starting with Manukau, Greenlane, Auckland City, Hawkes Bay, Manawatu, Wellington and Christchurch in late 2017,” he says.

Additionally a local plan has been developed to align with Toyota Motor Corporation’s global challenge to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Its broad scope covers vehicles, buildings, operations and supply chain emissions in New Zealand with the goal of transitioning to a low carbon, then zero carbon, company. There are four main strategies to achieve this: energy efficiency, renewables adoption, new technologies and carbon pricing.

From an organisational measurement perspective, Toyota New Zealand captures and tracks all site and operational greenhouse gases using Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme (CEMARS).

Toyota New Zealand’s Environmental Officer, Tristan Lavender highlights they have been participants of this programme for the last 11 years, monitoring and reducing CO2 emissions.

“Over the last decade or so we’ve continued to identify new emission sources, rather than rest on our laurels, most recently adding used vehicle road freight movements to our scope,” he says.

“We’re also the only automotive company to have dealerships using an Environmental Management System which measures environmental improvements and reductions in energy usage and waste sent to landfill.”

All Toyota and Lexus dealerships throughout the country must maintain a minimum Enviro-Mark Gold level, although some have gone beyond this and achieved Platinum and Diamond status.

Dealers are focusing on reducing their electricity usage, costs and emissions. The network has driven down consumption over four consecutive years by more than 553,000 kWh and saved $138,000 in the process, despite the addition of three new dealer sites over the same period.

Importantly, as part of its local commitment to managing the vehicle lifecycle impacts, Toyota runs a hybrid battery recycling programme.  Toyota or Lexus hybrid batteries that have reached the end of their life are collected through its dealerships nationwide and vehicle dismantlers with payment of a $100 bounty.  The batteries are then exported for closed-loop recycling in which all component parts and materials are disassembled and re-used.