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November 14, 2021

Five Japanese Automakers Work To Create Carbon Neutral Internal Combustion Engines

Five Japanese companies—Kawasaki, Subaru, Toyota, Mazda, and Yamaha have announced that they are not totally backing away from internal combustion engines on the road to carbon neutrality.

Team Japan, as the alliance is called, announced that they will take on the challenge of expanding fuel options. These fuels will run through the internal combustion engines. They hope to provide options, aside from electrification, to car buyers around the world.

For its part, Mazda will run a race car on a biomass-derived diesel fuel at the Super Taikyu race. The fuel, already being used in the carmaker’s company vehicles, offers performance comparable to petroleum-derived diesels. Yet, they are completely sustainable and carbon neutral.

By next year, both Toyota and Subaru (through the GR86 and Subar BRZ) will also run carbon-neutral synthetic fuel in the ST-Q class.

Meanwhile, Toyota’s internal combustion engine running on hydrogen will also gain traction in the realm of two-wheeled vehicles as well.

Kawasaki and Yamaha will jointly research the development of combustion hydrogen engines for two-wheeled vehicles. They are expected to be joined by Honda and Suzuki as well. The four Japanese motorcycle companies will explore the possibility of achieving carbon neutrality using internal combustion engines. They will, however, maintain a distinct line between cooperation and competition.

The announcement comes as Toyota pushes back on the notion that electric vehicles are the only way to achieve carbon neutrality. Toyota believes technological breakthroughs, such as hydrogen engines, can give internal combustion a new lease on life, saving jobs as well as the environment. It is a debate over the best road to net-zero carbon.

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