Toyota, Mazda, and Subaru Work on Engines That Use Carbon Neutral Fuels

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Key Takeaways

  • The joint venture is developing carbon-neutral combustion engines to combat CO2 emissions.
  • The new engines will be more compact and powerful while running on alternative fuels.
  • There's no indication yet on when new cars equipped with the engines will come to market.

Toyota, Mazda, and Subaru are cooperating on next-generation engines for cars running on carbon neutral fuel, including hydrogen, synthetics, or biofuel.

The companies used a media event to showcase in-development 1.5L and 2.0L engines that have a considerably reduced emissions output than conventional counterparts. At the same time, they’re more compact and powerful.

Subaru and Mazda said they share an approach to electrification that adapts to different markets. They argued that carbon emissions are the key problem, and that there were different ways to accomplish this.

They also vowed to “optimize integration” of the engines with “electric drive units” like motors and batteries.

The companies said the venture will help decarbonize internal combustion engines. The smaller engines could also allow for lower car hoods and improved aerodynamics.

Toyota owns around 20% of Subaru and a 5% stake in Mazda.  However, CEO Koji Sato said “friendly competition” between the firms would spur engine technology development.

Toyota is widely regarded as a slow starter on EVs, having released its first model (the bZ4X) in 2022. However, a tough EV market has helped it capitalize on a resurging interest in hybrids. This parallels developments at Mercedes-Benz, while Chinese manufacturer BYD is set to unveil its own hybrid powerplant in the near future.

Chief technology officer Hiroki Nakajima refused to be drawn on when Toyota will launch models equipped with the new engines. In markets like the EU, though, legislators are working towards emissions rules known as “Euro 7″ for cars and vans from 2030, preceding a ban on  new CO2-emitting cars in 2035.