Never in the history of the automobile have motorists been provided with greater choice in terms of the powertrains available to them.
With the options ranging from diesel, petrol, battery powered electric vehicles (BEVs), self-charging hybrids (HEVs), mild hybrids, and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) there’s a lot for consumers to think about.
Toyota has made a number of big decisions in the past 18 months to prepare for the trends in the decade ahead which will give consumers who are buying a new car in 2020 some foresight and guidance. As the world’s biggest car brand, Toyota wants to give customers certainty on what their best options are in the years ahead.
Speaking from the coalface of the Irish motoring industry, Steve Tormey, CEO of Toyota Ireland, laid out his views on the wide range of options, and why for him hybrid is the best option for the vast majority of Irish drivers looking for an electrified drive.
“Toyota made the decision to invest in hybrid technology over 20 years ago as a key principle of its contribution towards sustainable development.
“Here the company was ahead of Governments and consumers in foreseeing the decline in the conventional diesel and petrol cars in its move towards less polluting, more environmentally friendly options. In Ireland, for the first time ever, 2019 saw a hybrid becoming Ireland’s best-selling car (Toyota Corolla Hybrid), and the new Toyota hybrids sold that year alone will result in the reduction of 60,000 tonnes of CO2 from our environment over the course of their lifetime.
“Toyota has advanced its hybrid technology so much over the past 20 years that the latest generation hybrids drive in zero emissions mode 62% of the time on average during daily commuting conditions.
“This is a major positive step towards a zero emissions society and given how well hybrids perform under the new WLTP regulations we expect that market share for self-charging full hybrids will hit 12% to 14% in 2020.
“We are proud to say that Toyota is already delivering the lowest CO2 output of any car brand in Ireland. In fact, our average CO2 output across our range in Ireland was 17% lower than the top 10 best-selling car brands.
“There are myriad other reasons to choose hybrid over other power trains including a higher resale value than diesels, relatively lower pricing compared to pure EVs and Plug-in hybrids, 30% lower maintenance costs than combustion powered cars, up to 30% better fuel economy than petrol cars and up to 11% better than diesel cars.
In a world that is seeing the implementation of city centre driving bans for diesel vehicles, there are a number of key future implications to consider while balancing the options around the impact one’s powertrain choice will have on the environment, such as future taxing legislation and resale values.
“In our view, it is absolutely time to say goodbye to diesel in cars for the majority of Irish consumers.
“While CO2 emissions on modern diesels can be lower than pure petrol-powered cars, they cannot drive in zero emissions mode like electrified vehicles, and the risk to human health caused by the high levels of NOX emitted by diesels means they are not a viable option.
“Diesels produce up to 90% more NOX than hybrids and this fact was the driving force behind our decision to cease the sale of diesel cars in 2018.
“You also have to question the future resale value of diesels as more punitive NOX taxes are introduced in future Government budgets.
At Toyota we would estimate that diesel sales will continue their downward trajectory.