The Japanese company, the world’s biggest seller of hybrid-electric vehicles, vowed to surpass US rules intended to double fuel economy and reduce carbon emissions.
The U.S. efficiency push has brought dozens of new hybrids, plug-in cars, electric vehicles and models powered by fuel-saving gasoline engines to the market in the past three years. Sales of vehicles powered partially or entirely by electricity totaled at least 578,000, up more than 100,000 from 2012. They accounted for about 3.7 % of new autos sold in the US.
Automakers agreed in 2011 to a plan by President Barack Obama targeting an industrywide increase in Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, to 54.5 miles per gallon (4.31 L/100 km) of gasoline by 2025. Increased sales of hybrids and other alternative-powered autos will help Toyota comply with that rule, said Bob Carter, the automaker’s U.S. senior vice president.
“The 2015 to 2025 CAFE regulations will require automakers to significantly reduce emissions and increase fuel economy across their fleet of vehicles,” Carter said in prepared remarks at Deutsche Bank AG’s auto industry conference in Detroit. “That won’t be easy, but at Toyota we plan to exceed these new standards.”
Toyota will release 15 new or revamped hybrids worldwide between August 2013 and 2015 and a fuel-cell sedan next year to lift efficiency, Carter said.
“With our wide-ranging lineups and lead in hybrid vehicles, we think we are in the pole position on CAFE,” he said.
Honda officials on the other hand told US and California regulators this week at the Detroit show that they can achieve the 2025 mandate primarily with improvements in internal-combustion engines. The approach is aimed at California, which also requires automakers to sell zero-emission vehicles including plug-in electrics and fuel cell-powered cars.