What is the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050?

The Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 is a set of six environmental challenges that it plans to have in effect by 2050. The aim is to achieve zero environmental impact in all vehicle-related activities; but more than that, Toyota wants these initiatives to have a positive and sustainable impact on society as a whole.

The six environmental challenges are listed below, followed by a detailed description of how Toyota plans to implement the first challenge by 2050. Click on any of the further links to be taken to separate posts describing how each challenge will be implemented.

Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050:

1) Zero CO2 emissions in new vehicles
2) Zero CO2 emissions throughout a vehicle’s life cycle
3) Zero CO2 emissions from all production facilities
4) Minimising and optimising water usage
5) Establishing a recycling-based society and systems
6) Establishing a future society in harmony with nature

Challenge 1: Zero CO2 emissions in new vehicles

Toyota has challenged itself to reduce vehicle CO2 emissions by 90% in comparison to 2010 levels. This will be achieved by 2050 and promoted through the development and widespread adoption of next-generation vehicles with low or zero CO2 emissions.

Why is it needed?

As if to demonstrate the reality of global warming, extreme weather patterns are provoking successive natural disasters throughout the globe. If current conditions continue and measures are not taken to reduce greenhouse gases, it is estimated that by the start of the 22nd Century the world’s average temperature will have risen by 3.7 to 4.8°C. What’s more, if we are to restrict the temperature rise since before the industrial revolution to below 2°C, we not only need to reduce CO2 emissions to zero but restore an environment where the element is naturally absorbed.

What is Toyota already doing about this challenge?

The average fuel efficiency of new Toyota vehicles improved by 22% in the decade following 2005. In 2010, Toyota set the intermediary goal of reducing the average CO2 emissions of new vehicles by 22% by the year 2020 – a figure that equates to approximately 28% improvement in fuel efficiency.

In addition to reducing the fuel consumption of all engine-driven vehicles, Toyota is actively developing next-generation vehicles with low or zero CO2 emissions. These include hybrid petrol-electric vehicles (HVs), plug-in hybrid petrol-electric vehicles (PHVs), electric vehicles (EVs) and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs).

Toyota launched its first hybrid vehicle in 1997 in response to resource and environmental issues of the 21st Century. Since then Toyota has produced over ten million petrol-electric hybrid vehicles, which it estimates has stopped 77 million tonnes of CO2 emissions being released into the atmosphere and saved 29 million kilolitres of fuel (compared to conventional petrol-powered vehicles of similar size and driving performance).

Toyota continues to promote the widespread adoption of eco-friendly vehicles. Following in the footsteps of Prius, Toyota now sells 34 different hybrid models in more than 90 countries and regions across the globe. Cooperation is also being sought to build the infrastructure for widespread adoption of EVs and FCVs. In that respect, Toyota is contributing to initiatives aimed at achieving a fully-fledged hydrogen-based society by 2030.

Learn more: Why does Toyota make hydrogen cars?


  1. Please come back to me in 2050 when you have succeeded and I will buy one for my 108 Birthday

  2. When will you start making real EVs? All models should come as BEV, but especially the RAV4.

    Your cars have batteries already, when will all at least come with a plug?

    Toyota is a laggard. It is time to be at the front of the emission reduction, like you were 20 years ago. Not much has happened since then, you still seem to think that your pure petrol cars (that you call hybrids) are great. They were….now they need to be all electric or at least have 50+km real world chargeable range.

    1. Hi John,

      Thanks very much for your comment, and your thoughts on alternative fuels. Toyota is widely recognised as being at the forefront of the automotive industry, and has invested billions in R&D projects around the world. Would a laggard introduce to market the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen-powered saloon car?! Mirai has been on sale now since late 2015. Click this link for more info: https://www.toyota.co.uk/new-cars/new-mirai/landing.json

      Our hybrids are not pure petrol cars; the electric motor always provides power to the wheels, with the petrol engine joining in at higher speeds or under hard acceleration. We think hybrids are a great alternative to ICE cars whilst the charging/hydrogen refuelling networks expand to suit more people. The new Prius Plug-in has a electric range of around 30 miles, and when it does eventually run out of battery, it operates as a normal Prius – very economically. We are working on BEVs, but we can’t provide any detailed information on release dates at this time. We hope this helps to answer your questions.

  3. This is great! We need to focus on ecologic and zero emission means of transport. Toyota is doing it right. Air pollution is a very big issue nowadays, and it won’t stop. Sustainable mobility is an answer to air pollution so, let’s use electric vehicles and hybrid cars!

  4. How many mass produced hydrogen fuelled cars have you sold to date and where is the hydrogen currently being produced and how?

  5. Hi Pete,

    Thanks for getting in touch. Annual production and sales of Mirai have increased yearly, going from about 700 units in 2015 to around 2,000 units in 2016 and 3,000 units in 2017. At present, the model is sold in 11 countries: Japan, the United States, and nine countries in Europe. In the UK, 74 units have been sold up to June 2018 but that figure will rise significantly when the Met Police and private hire firm Green Tomato Cars receive their full fleet orders. Such growing confidence in hydrogen-powered transport has allowed Toyota to plan annual production of fuel cell vehicles to 30,000 units by the early 2020s.

    Producing, compressing and dispensing hydrogen does consume some energy, but this can be combatted by using surplus renewable energy that might otherwise be wasted. Hydrogen is also a by-product of certain industries, some of which can create emissions, yet technologies and systems are now available to ensure that its production is free of emissions. Once produced, hydrogen is also efficient and cost-effective to distribute.

    Interestingly, most new vehicle hydrogen refuelling stations create hydrogen on-site with electrolysis, using 100% renewable surplus energy. No deliveries are needed and there are no emissions from either the production process or the fuel’s consumption. These stations are containerised and only require water and power to operate. Power is supplied on green tariffs, or at some stations is sourced directly from solar or wind on-site.


  6. 2050 is fare too late, I am not green fanatic but I know why e must do,
    Toyota a world respected world renowned company, one that should not just be going with the flow, but should be leading the world.
    Be the ones to set the pace for the rest to follow you will not regret it!

    1. Hi D Johnson,
      Thanks for your comment and feedback.
      The 2050 Environmental Challenge, which we announced in 2017, encompasses all business activities, not just emissions from the cars we produce. So the factories, the transporters the corporate offices will all be zero emissions by 2050, as well as the cars. As far as we know, when this was announced, it was a first for an automotive company.

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