In line with the global carbon-abatement trend, the Japanese government has planned to convert all Japanese-made sedans sold worldwide to electric models, including hybrid cars and hydrogen-fueled electric cars, by 2050, thereby cutting carbon emission each car by 80% from the 2010 level.
The objective was put forth by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) during the second "strategic meeting for new car era," held with multiple automakers on July 24 jointly.
In order to attain the objective, Japan will push the development fast-charging and battery-recycling technologies for electric cars and high-performance auto batteries, accelerating deployment in electric-car network and related services.
During the meeting, leading automakers Toyota, Nissan, and Honda unveiled a plan setting up a joint venture to secure stable supply of rare metals for auto-battery production in 2018.
The meeting also resolved to invite electric-car standard formulating institutions of various countries to a meeting on electric-car charging standards this fall. Hiroshige
Seko, minister of economy, trade, and industry, remarked that the government and the corporate sector will join hands in popularizing electric cars, so as to attain zero emission on roads.
The Japanese government has targeted raising the share of electric cars and hybrid cars to 20-30% by 2030, up from mere 1% now.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) forecasts that annual global sales of electric cars will top 11 million units by 2025, 10 times existing level, rising further to 30 million 2030 and their prices will drop to a level comparable to gasoline-fueled cars during 2020-2030.
The electric-car current will overhaul the structure of the global auto industry, due to the stark difference between electric cars and traditional carts in auto body and components/parts.
In addition to its leading lithium-ion battery technology, Japan is vigorously developing hydrogen-fuel battery and solid battery technologies. However, China is catching up quickly in the development of electric-car technology, taking advantage of its abundant deposits of rare metals for use in car battery. To uphold its lead, Japan will continue pushing cooperation among industry, the government, and academia.
In June, Toyota, Honda, Nissan and eight other Japanese automakers and manufacturers of auto components and parts established jointly the Transmission Research Association for Mobility Innovation (TRAMI), for engagement in R&D on powertrain technology and engine and motor power transmission technology.
(Written by Daisy Chuang)
(First photo courtesy of na0905 via FlickrCC BY 2.0)