A “silent majority” of car companies is concerned that electric vehicles will not alone be able to end reliance on fossil fuels, according to a senior Toyota executive. The Telegraph has more.
Akio Toyoda, the company’s president and grandson of its founder Kiichiro Toyoda, said that many concerned senior figures are reluctant to say what they really think because of the pressure to go green.
It comes as the industry struggles to ditch petrol and diesel, in the face of materials shortages and complex processes that have kept the cost of building electric cars high.
In comments on a visit to Thailand first reported by the Wall Street Journal, Mr Toyoda said: “People involved in the auto industry are largely a silent majority.
“That silent majority is wondering whether EVs [electric vehicles] are really OK to have as a single option. But they think it’s the trend so they can’t speak out loudly.”
Meanwhile, MPs on the parliamentary Science and Technology Committee have warned that plans to require that all new boilers are able to run on hydrogen within a few years are unrealistic and the gas is likely to play a limited role in the future energy system, given the practical challenges of producing and handling it cleanly at large scale. From the Telegraph:
They argue huge questions still need to be answered about the potential deployment of the gas, and highlight “conflicting views” on the role it could play in domestic heating, given the merits of electric heat pumps instead.
Hydrogen is currently a niche product used in chemical production and oil refining, but politicians around the world hope it can replace fossil fuels in uses ranging from heating to transport, as it does not produce emissions when burned.
However, the committee argued that in practice this was likely to be limited to uses where other options are unsuitable, or in areas which are close to hydrogen production hubs.
“It seems likely that any future use of hydrogen will be limited rather than universal,” they said. “This limited – rather than universal – use of hydrogen should inform Government decisions. For example, we disagree with the Climate Change Committee’s recommendation that the Government should mandate new domestic boilers to be hydrogen-ready from 2025.”