CARBON is one of Toyota’s four focus areas in North America. We are working to reduce the carbon footprint of our products and operations, and conducting outreach activities that help our stakeholders do the same. Climate change is a significant challenge facing the global community. We are working at every stage of the vehicle life cycle to help the world advance toward a low carbon future.

Carbon Highlights Highlights for this Section
  • Toyota launched Prius Prime, EPA-estimated 133 MPGe makes it the most fuel-efficient vehicle on the road today. The improved efficiency represents a substantial 26 percent enhancement over its predecessor.
  • Toyota scientists recently made a breakthrough in battery research that could open the door for smaller, longer-lasting batteries for everything from cell phones to cars.
  • The 7.75 megawatt solar array planned for our new headquarters campus in Plano will be the largest corporate office on-site solar installation among non-utility companies in Texas and will reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 7,122 metric tons, or the equivalent of the electricity used by almost 1,000 homes for a year.

The impacts of climate change – floods, droughts, changes to weather patterns – are being felt around the globe. Earth’s average temperature has risen by 1.4°F over the past century and is projected to rise another 2 to 11.5°F over the next 100 years. Small changes in the average temperature of the planet can translate to large shifts in climate and weather.

According to the International Energy Agency, the transportation sector is responsible for approximately 23 percent of the world’s total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fuel combustion. Toyota considers responses to help prevent global warming – a key aspect of climate change – to be a priority management issue. In North America, Toyota’s strategy for a low carbon future focuses on our products, operations and outreach activities.



Toyota pursues multiple technology paths to reduce vehicle fuel consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in our global markets. We try to match technologies to best meet customer needs in each specific region. We evaluate vehicle powertrains, weight, aerodynamics and other design factors to boost vehicle efficiency while preserving the vehicle size, power, driving range and affordability that our customers demand — without sacrificing world-class vehicle safety features and performance.

To minimize the carbon footprint of our vehicle fleet, Toyota’s vehicle carbon strategy has four parts: 1) improving the fuel efficiency of our gasoline vehicles, 2) advancing the technology and mass acceptance of alternative powertrains, 3) supporting development of the infrastructure needed for full-scale commercialization of advanced technology vehicles that run on alternative fuels, and 4) complying with vehicle fuel economy and GHG regulations and meeting our own internal targets. We are making progress in all of these areas, advancing us toward a low carbon future.

Improving Gasoline Vehicle FE

Toyota is working to introduce vehicles with highly efficient gasoline engines that achieve fuel efficiency improvements. The 2015 Lexus NX 200t introduced a turbo 2.0L engine, which offers the best combination of efficiency and performance to meet customer demands. Toyota also introduced more fuel-efficient engines into the U.S. for the 2016 Toyota Tacoma 3.5L, Lexus RX and RX Hybrid. These engines will help Toyota achieve future fuel economy and CO2 vehicle targets.

Advancing Alternative Powertrains

Improving fuel economy and reducing tailpipe emissions are major drivers for our investments in advanced technology. But it takes more than technology to design and build low or zero emission vehicles that the market will accept. We understand no one size fits all; that’s why we invest in researching driving trends, sociological behaviors, the changing energy and transportation landscape, and the evolution of cities. This research helps us understand which technology works in which circumstance so that we can build the vehicles that best suit the needs of the market.

We address customers’ needs for driving distance and vehicle size using different portfolio technologies. Our vision for small battery electric vehicles (such as iQ EV) is based on short trips around town, while our hybrids (such as Prius Prime) and fuel cell vehicle (Mirai) are ideal for longer driving distances.

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Hybrid technology is the foundation of Toyota’s approach to minimizing the environmental impacts of gasoline-powered vehicles. Knowledge gained from hybrid development and deployment is helping Toyota accelerate the introduction of future powertrains that can utilize a wide variety of energy sources and fuels, including hydrogen and electricity.

It took nine years and nine months for Toyota to sell 1 million hybrids worldwide. In the nine years since then, Toyota has sold 8 million more. In April 2016, the cumulative figure for global sales of Toyota hybrid vehicles surpassed the 9 million mark. Toyota sells 33 different hybrid passenger car models and one plug-in hybrid model in more than 90 countries and regions (as of April 2016).

Also in April, Lexus International announced the sale of its 1 millionth hybrid vehicle. The world’s first luxury hybrid, the Lexus RX 400h, was launched in North America in 2005. Today, Lexus sells 10 hybrid models worldwide and is the luxury brand with the widest hybrid line-up.

The Toyota Prius hybrid is a marquee vehicle that established mainstream adoption of hybrid technology. By achieving global mass-market appeal, Toyota hybrids have created a significant positive impact in gasoline consumption and emissions generated by driving. Toyota calculates that as of April 30, 2016, the use of Toyota hybrid vehicles worldwide in lieu of conventional vehicles of similar size and driving performance has resulted in approximately 67 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions, believed to be a cause of global warming.* Toyota also estimates that its hybrid vehicles have saved approximately 6.6 billion gallons of gasoline compared to the amount used by gasoline-powered vehicles in the same class.

Toyota and Lexus currently have 13 hybrid models and one plug-in hybrid model on the market in North America, all using our unique series-parallel hybrid system. In the U.S., Toyota and Lexus hybrids account for 59 percent of industry hybrid sales. Cumulative Toyota and Lexus hybrid sales in North America are over 2.8 million (as of June 2016).

*Number of registered vehicles × estimated distance traveled × fuel efficiency rating × CO2 conversion factory

Auto Industry’s Only Asset-Backed Green Bond Program Expanded

To support the sale of green vehicles, Toyota Financial Services (TFS) issued its third asset-backed green bond in May 2016 in the amount of $1.6 billion. TFS revolutionized the green bond market by introducing the auto industry’s first-ever asset-backed green bond in 2014, then issued a second in 2015. Green bonds are an important component of TFS’ broad-ranging funding program and serve to advance Toyota’s already extensive environmental commitment.

TFS’ three issuances of asset-backed green bonds have raised $4.6 billion. Proceeds of the latest TFS green bond are being used to fund new retail finance contracts and lease contracts for Toyota and Lexus vehicles that meet three criteria:

  • Gas-electric hybrid or alternative fuel powertrain
  • Minimum EPA estimated MPG (or MPG equivalent for alternative fuel vehicles) of 35 city / 35 highway
  • EPA Smog Rating of 8 or better (10 being the cleanest), as determined by the U.S. EPA for the purchase of a vehicle in California

To develop the green bond, TFS worked closely with Citi, which has a long-standing relationship with TFS and shares its commitment to green innovation. Citi served as the structuring lead manager of the bond, and Lloyds and RBC acted as joint-lead managers.

Hybrids and Hollywood

In 2000, shortly after Toyota launched Prius in the U.S., the Environmental Media Association (EMA) and Toyota connected to help bring the hybrid to Hollywood. In October 2015, Toyota and Lexus celebrated 15 years of partnership with EMA and the 15th anniversary of Prius at the 25th annual Environmental Media Awards at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California. The all-new 2016 Prius made its Hollywood debut at the green carpet event.

The award ceremony honored film and television productions that communicate environmental messages in creative and influential ways. Honorees included Don Henley, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kristin Davis, Van Jones, Zem and James Joaquin, and a special tribute to 25 years of the Simpson’s series excellence in environmental messaging.

“The entertainment industry elevated Prius to a cultural icon and made hybrids cool,” said Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. “Toyota and Lexus are proud to support and celebrate Hollywood’s positive influence and impact on the planet.”

In addition to Prius, Lexus showcased two vehicles for the evening: the NX 300h AWD, a luxury hybrid with class-leading MPG and innovative design, and the CT F SPORT Special Edition, with sport-tuned suspension, exclusive F SPORT styling and impressive fuel efficiency.

The hydrogen-powered Mirai fuel cell vehicle also attended the party. The Mirai combines two elements – hydrogen and oxygen – to produce electricity to power the car. The best part is what leaves the tailpipe: only water vapor.

The Environmental Media Association (EMA), organizer and host of the awards, is a nonprofit founded in 1989 by Cindy and Alan Horn and Lyn and Norman Lear. EMA’s mission is to mobilize the entertainment industry in educating people about environmental issues. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. is a member of the EMA Corporate Board.

Toyota Canada Team Wins at Eco-Rally

At the first-ever Nîmes-Alès eco-rally in southern France, Toyota’s Canadian rally team – Vinh Pham and Alan Ockwell – piloted their 2016 Toyota Prius to a first place finish in the Hybrid category and a second-place Overall result. The Nîmes-Alès eco-rally was created to promote advanced technologies in southern France.

“For almost two decades, Toyota has developed and built advanced hybrid vehicles that are cleaner, fuel efficient, fun to drive and easy to adopt by drivers around the world – and events such as this eco-rally are how we prove to Canadians that our hybrids are more than ready for the real world,” said Cyril Dimitris, vice president of Toyota Canada Inc. “We’re proud of Vinh and Alan for their excellent performance, which confirms that the 2016 Toyota Prius shatters the perceptions of what’s possible in a hybrid.”

The rally took place in June 2016 in the mountainous terrain around Nîmes and Alès. Teams were required to drive more than 300 kilometers (186 miles), including a 30-minute track-endurance stage during which an average speed of 65 km/h had to be maintained.

Since the first FIA Alternative Energy Cup was awarded in 2007, Toyota has won the Hybrid class (Category VII) in six of nine years. The FIA Alternative Energy Cup is a world championship series for hybrids and other alternatives to conventional vehicles.


Plug–in hybrid vehicles use electricity from the power grid to partially offset the use of gasoline. As such, these vehicles typically release fewer emissions while in operation than a conventional vehicle. While the emissions implications vary (based on the source of the electricity), Toyota views the plug–in hybrid vehicle as a way to reduce fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions (including CO2) beyond a standard gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle.

Prius Prime

Toyota first launched Prius Plug-in Hybrid in 2012. In the fall of 2016, the second generation of this vehicle, the 2017 Prius Prime, became available in all 50 states and Canada. “Prime” means best, making it the perfect name for the most technologically advanced, best-equipped Prius in the model’s history. Prius Prime is a giant leap over the first generation Prius Plug-in Hybrid, boasting a dramatic redesign both inside and out, along with advanced next generation technology.

Prius Prime’s EPA-estimated 133 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) makes it the most fuel-efficient vehicle on the road today. It also represents a substantial 26 percent enhancement over its predecessor, a result of greater battery capacity and an improved hybrid system. On one 11.3-gallon tank of regular-grade gasoline and a full electric charge, the 2017 Prius Prime anticipates a class-leading estimated total driving range of over 600 miles.

An important distinction between Prime and its predecessor is its ability to operate in Electric Vehicle (EV) Mode more often, in more situations and for longer periods, helping to deliver a better EV experience. Thanks to advanced technologies like a new dual-motor generator drive system, a new HVAC system and a unique battery warming system, Prime is expected to be significantly less reliant on gasoline power than its predecessor. The 2017 Prius Prime is expected to drive at speeds up to 84 mph without leaving EV Mode and offer an estimated EV Mode driving range of 22 miles, meeting the daily commuter distance of over half of U.S. drivers.

Prius Prime can be plugged in at home to recharge its larger 8.8 kWh battery pack. No special equipment is needed for home charging. Prius Prime has an expected charging time of less than 5.5 hours using a standard household outlet (110/120V). Charging takes less than half the time when using a 240V source (such as a public charging station or home-based installation).


Toyota engineers have been studying purely electric battery-powered vehicles for nearly 40 years. Alongside the company’s groundbreaking hybrid, plug–in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles, battery electric vehicle (BEV) technology represents another component of Toyota’s long-term vision for future mobility.

BEV consumers embrace the technology for its smooth drive, excellent acceleration and zero tailpipe emissions, yet these vehicles represent a small percentage of the overall vehicle market. For most consumers, limited vehicle range and battery recharge time remain barriers to consideration. To overcome these barriers, Toyota has active research projects in battery technology to improve range and recharge time, both for today’s lithium-ion technology and for the future “beyond lithium.”

We are continuing to explore how battery electric vehicles may fit into the transportation landscape, particularly as we look for ways to help ease congestion in major metropolitan areas. We are working with partners like the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and others to determine where electric vehicles make sense and how to integrate the vehicle, the customer and the power grid.

Demonstration programs for i-Road, Toyota’s three-wheeled electric vehicle, are underway in France and Japan, testing usage and acceptance in urban markets. For more information on i-Road, see Toyota’s global website.

Magnesium Batteries

Scientists at the Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA) have been conducting advanced battery research and recently made a breakthrough involving magnesium batteries that could open the door for smaller, longer-lasting batteries for everything from cell phones to cars.

Magnesium metal has long been theorized as a more energy-dense alternative to current lithium battery technology. Lithium metal, in its natural state, is unstable when exposed to air. In order to make lithium metal safe for batteries, ions are taken from the lithium metal and embedded into graphite rods, which are then used in batteries. That lack of actual metal, however, limits the amount of power a battery can store. Magnesium, on the other hand, is a very stable metal with the potential to store much more energy. But, until now, research on magnesium-based batteries was limited because a magnesium-friendly electrolyte did not exist.

Toyota principal scientist and chemical engineer Rana Mohtadi was researching hydrogen storage materials and their application to fuel cell technology when she heard her fellow researchers discussing the challenges of developing an electrolyte for a practical magnesium battery. Mohtadi realized her hydrogen storage material might just solve the longstanding problem. With further experimentation and the help of fellow researchers, her theory proved correct.

“We were able to take a material that was only used in hydrogen storage and make it practical and very competitive for magnesium battery chemistry,” said Mohtadi. “It was exciting.”

While it’s easy to get caught up in the potential of a dramatically improved battery, it could take 20 years of research and development before magnesium batteries reach the consumer market. To help move the process along, Toyota’s scientists aren’t keeping their discovery to themselves. Fellow researcher Oscar Tutusaus, who collaborated with Mohtadi on the discovery, said, “We want to make this electrolyte a standard for magnesium batteries, and we want other researchers to develop it further so these batteries can see the light of day.”

Toyota’s scientists made their findings public in a paper detailing their discovery entitled “An Efficient Halogen-Free Electrolyte for Use in Rechargeable Magnesium Batteries,” which was published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition (Vol. 54, Issue 27).


Toyota Mirai is one of the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and is available for sale in California. Mirai is a four-door, mid-size sedan that offers an EPA-estimated 67 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) city/ highway/ combined and an EPA-estimated driving range rating of 312 miles on a single fill of hydrogen. Mirai is one of the only zero emission electric vehicles on the market that tops the 300-mile range.

Mirai fully competes with traditional internal combustion engines – without using gasoline. Toyota Mirai creates electricity on demand using hydrogen fuel, oxygen and a fuel cell, and emits nothing but water vapor in the process.


Hydrogen is one of the most promising alternative fuel sources and when used in a fuel cell, is highly efficient and leaves no CO2 emissions behind. This gives hydrogen the potential to help solve greenhouse gas emissions and energy security challenges faced by the transportation sector.

To acknowledge hydrogen’s potential as an alternative transportation fuel and for renewable energy storage, Toyota, with support from the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, helped create National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day. Officially recognized in 2015 by the unanimous passage of Senate Resolution 217, October 8 (10.08) was chosen in recognition of the atomic weight of hydrogen (1.008).

For updates on hydrogen fueling infrastructure and our Fueled by Everything episodes, see the Mirai section of our website.

Mirai Named World Green Car

Toyota Mirai was declared the 2016 World Green Car at the 2016 New York International Auto Show.

“Just as Prius changed the world nearly 20 years ago, the hydrogen-powered Mirai is ready to make history,” said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota Division of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. “With an EPA-estimated driving range of over 300 miles per tank, an approximate refueling time of under five minutes and emissions that consist only of water vapor, Mirai is leading the world forward toward a more sustainable future.”

2016 World Car Award Winner

Mirai was chosen from an initial entry list of eight new vehicles from all over the world. Tailpipe emissions, fuel consumption and use of a major advanced power plant technology (beyond engine componentry), aimed specifically at increasing the vehicle’s environmental responsibility, were all taken into consideration. Vehicles were selected and voted on by an international jury panel comprised of 73 top-level automotive journalists from 23 countries around the world.

Supporting EV and FCV Infrastructure

Alternative transportation fuels such as ethanol, biodiesel, natural gas, hydrogen and electricity are already in the marketplace here in North America. The availability and diversity of these alternatives to gasoline and diesel play a key role in helping countries realize their energy security and greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.

Our vehicle portfolio approach takes into account the diversity of alternative transportation fuels currently available as well as those on the horizon. But there are several hurdles to overcome before advanced technology vehicles can realize full-scale commercialization. Infrastructure development is one of these hurdles.

Through H2USA, the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP), the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) and the California Plug–in Electric Vehicle Collaborative, Toyota is working with government agencies (including the U.S. Department of Energy), other auto manufacturers, utilities and other key stakeholders to support the development of necessary infrastructure for advanced technology vehicles.

Integrating Plug-in Hybrids and the Power Grid

The Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA) is collaborating with the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on multiple projects, including one to find new and better ways to integrate plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) into the power grid. The market for hybrid electric vehicles has seen rapid growth during the last few years, going from a blip on the radar to more than 1 million PHEVs on the road and counting. With the launch of Toyota’s Prius Prime, we expect that number to continue its rapid growth.

Toyota and NREL want to find out how all those new vehicles charging up at the same time will affect power quality on the distribution grid. Knowing how much is too much for the grid will lead to better strategies to monitor and control distribution, ensuring that as more PHEV owners plug in, the grid is ready.

Scientists and engineers at NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) and NREL’s Vehicle Testing and Integration Facility are testing real-world interactions between the electricity grid, plug-in vehicle charging, solar power and home electronics. A real residential electrical grid with vehicle charging infrastructure, solar power and energy storage has been constructed in a laboratory setting. Ten iQ electric vehicles and 22 Prius Plug–in hybrid electric vehicles are being used to develop and explore ways to help grid operators accommodate the fast-growing U.S. electric vehicle fleet, including how to use signals from the grid to curtail charging when the demand for electricity from the grid is at its peak.

ESIF will also allow industry decision makers to model what an increasing penetration of solar or wind energy onto the grid would look like in real time, at a level of accuracy and detail never seen before. Manufacturers can test new energy equipment at megawatt scale and vendors can analyze the optimal equipment balance as the energy system adds storage and two-way data sharing. ESIF brings together pertinent tools to integrate technologies in ways that weren’t possible before.

Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure

Hydrogen fueling stations take processed hydrogen, compress it and cool it to deliver it safely to a fuel cell vehicle (FCV). Hydrogen stations operate a lot like gasoline stations and it takes only about five minutes to refill the tank of Toyota’s Mirai.

One of the challenges with commercializing fuel cell vehicles has been the availability of hydrogen fueling stations. The University of California Irvine estimates 68 stations are needed to support 10,000 fuel cell vehicles state-wide. The state of California has earmarked $200 million for as many as 100 new hydrogen stations in the next several years, with up to 40 stations by the end of 2016. In addition, Toyota is helping fund infrastructure that supports a growing community of FCV drivers by working with government agencies and committing millions of dollars to hydrogen fuel providers like FirstElement Fuels, Air Liquide and Linde:

  • FirstElement Fuels, as part of a financial agreement with Toyota, is working to develop an integrated and reliable network of fueling stations across California in target market locations approved by Toyota and consistent with the California Fuel Cell Partnership Road Map. At the end of 2016, FirstElement had completed construction of 16 stations.
  • In the northeast United States, Toyota and Air Liquide are collaborating to develop and supply a fully-integrated hydrogen fueling infrastructure to support the introduction of Mirai on the east coast in 2017. Air Liquide’s hydrogen fueling infrastructure in the northeast is expected to consist initially of 12 filling stations across New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, with plans to extend the network as demand warrants.
  • Industrial gas supplier Linde LLC is building a hydrogen fueling station on Toyota-owned property in San Ramon, California, adjacent to Toyota’s San Francisco Regional Office and Parts Distribution Center. This location will serve local and regional customers and will function as an important connector site between the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys and the San Francisco Bay Area.

With the development of hydrogen fueling infrastructure, the automotive industry has reached a turning point and the transition from gasoline to hydrogen as the predominant vehicle fuel has begun. “We are showing the future owners of this amazing technology that Toyota is helping to ensure that hydrogen refueling will be available, no matter what car brand is on the hood,” said Bob Carter, Toyota’s senior vice president of automotive operations.

SPOTLIGHT: The Road to Renewable Hydrogen

After decades of research and development, Toyota’s fuel cell electric vehicle, the Mirai, is now available to the public. But a vehicle powered by a hydrogen fuel cell that emits nothing but water vapor is only half the story. To fully realize hydrogen’s zero emissions potential, we also need zero emission fuel.

That’s where collaboration comes in. Toyota has been partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for the last 15 years on advancing hydrogen. NREL, supported by DOE’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office, is at the forefront of renewable hydrogen production research.

“Hydrogen is a really important part of our future energy portfolio in this country,” said Keith Wipke, NREL program manager for fuel cell and hydrogen technologies. “Hydrogen can be produced domestically, and the pathways we’re researching all involve making hydrogen from renewable or low carbon sources so that it can be a zero emission fuel.”

NREL is investigating the following renewable hydrogen pathways:

  1. Biomass Fermentation: Through fermentation, the complex sugars in biomass, which is sugar-rich plant-based material, are broken down to produce hydrogen. NREL’s process uses microbes that can ferment cellulose directly to hydrogen without the need for expensive enzymes.
  2. Photobiological Pathway: Through photosynthesis, microbes growing in water, such as water-grown algae and cyanobacteria, use sunlight to split water into oxygen and hydrogen.
  3. Electrolysis: Solar, wind, geothermal or other renewable sources of power are used to generate electricity that powers an electrolyzer system to split water into oxygen and hydrogen.
  4. Photoelectrochemical Pathway: Sunlight is used to directly electrolyze water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen gas – at greater than 15 percent solar-to-hydrogen efficiency – on the surface of high efficiency multi-junction solar cells.

“NREL’s research is integral to making hydrogen a sustainable transportation fuel,” said Craig Scott, senior manager of Toyota Motor North America’s Advanced Technologies Group. “If we can combine renewable hydrogen fuel with the hydrogen fuel cell in Toyota’s Mirai – which is 2 to 2.5 times more efficient than the gasoline-powered vehicles we drive around in today – we will have made a huge leap in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and securing our energy future.”

NREL’s hydrogen and fuel cell research goes beyond hydrogen production to evaluate delivery and storage. Toyota and other fuel cell vehicle manufacturers have identified a critical need to improve the cost and reliability of hydrogen station technology. Through the DOE-supported Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure Research and Station Technology (H2FIRST) project, NREL is working with Sandia National Laboratories to address the technical challenges of hydrogen station deployment in the early market.

“Infrastructure reliability is the leading technical challenge facing the early adoption of fuel cell vehicles in the U.S.,” explained Wipke. “Scientists here at NREL are using a Toyota Mirai plus other fuel cell vehicles to evaluate the hydrogen fueling experience and equipment to help address this challenge.”

Beyond transportation, NREL is also conducting research on the use of hydrogen fuel cell technology in other applications. Toyota recently funded a research project at NREL that will help us create and use renewable hydrogen at one of our facilities.

Toyota’s partnership with NREL is one piece of the complex puzzle in bringing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to market. Thanks to the collaboration of auto manufacturers, government agencies, trade associations, academia and nonprofits, we are advancing along the path toward a low carbon future and getting closer to overcoming the technological, economic and institutional barriers to the widespread commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles.

For information about Toyota’s partnership with NREL on plug-in hybrids and grid integration, click here.

Hybrid Vehicles Target

Successfully introduce new hybrid models in North America through FY2016 to reduce Toyota’s product carbon footprint (achieved)

Toyota launched the 2015 Lexus NX 300h crossover in the fall of 2014. The 2016 RAV4 Hybrid became available in the fall of 2015. These vehicles joined 11 other Toyota and Lexus hybrid models on the roads in the U.S. and Canada during fiscal year 2016.*

*This does not include Prius Prime, which launched in fiscal year 2017. Toyota’s fiscal year runs April 1-March 31

Fuel Economy & CO2 Vehicle Emissions

Our efforts to improve fuel economy and reduce GHGs have become more aggressive with the adoption in the United States of new fuel economy and GHG emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks through the 2025 model year. The new vehicle fleet must meet a GHG standard of 250 grams of CO2 per mile by 2016, equivalent to a Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard of 35.5 miles per gallon (mpg); by 2025 cars and light trucks are required to yield a combined 54.5 mpg. While overall compliance is based on a fleet average, each vehicle has a fuel economy/GHG target based on its footprint.

One significant challenge to meeting these standards is having technology options available that consumers are willing to purchase in sufficient quantities. At this point, it is nearly impossible to predict such outcomes so far into the future, since preferences will largely be determined by factors such as fuel price, economic conditions and infrastructure development — most of which are beyond an auto manufacturer’s control.

In Canada, Toyota supports alignment with the United States for setting vehicle emissions standards. The Canadian federal government introduced a GHG emissions regulation under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act for the 2011-2016 model years, and in October of 2014 issued final GHG regulations for the 2017-2025 model years.

In Mexico, the government has modeled vehicle GHG standards after U.S. requirements. The standards require automakers to meet a single sales-weighted fleet average over the period 2014 through 2016, and allow credits generated in 2012 and 2013 to be used toward compliance. These standards have been appropriately tailored to the unique driving conditions and product mix associated with the Mexican market and contain similar compliance flexibilities and lead time as those offered in the United States.

Many of our hybrid products are already capable of meeting their respective future targets for fuel economy and GHG standards in all three countries. But there is still a sense of urgency as states like California seek to accelerate the number of zero emission vehicles on the road to meet its ZEV requirements.

Toyota achieved the required U.S. Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards and met the required vehicle CO2 per mile standards in the United States, Canada and Mexico. See Figures 12-14 for our performance in the U.S. and Canada. In Mexico, Toyota’s fleet average in calendar year 2014 was 183.8 grams CO2 per kilometer (g CO2/km); in 2015, Toyota’s fleet average was 178.7 g CO2/km.

United States

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Fuel Economy Awards

Toyota offers several models that achieved best-in-class fuel economy ratings in 2016. For example:

• Camry Hybrid and Prius were named two of the “10 Best Green Cars of 2016” by Kelley Blue Book’s Each year, editors pick 10 standouts boasting the best combinations of fuel efficiency, value and overall appeal. The list also takes into account production methods and recyclability, and the editors try to seek vehicles appropriate for varying lifestyles.

• Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) named five Toyota/Lexus vehicles as best-in-class for fuel efficiency for the 2016 model year, more than any other manufacturer. Best-in-class vehicles have the lowest combined fuel consumption rating, based on 55 percent city and 45 percent highway driving. For each class, the most fuel-efficient conventional vehicle and the most efficient advanced technology vehicle (where applicable) are recognized. Five Toyota and Lexus vehicles were awarded by NRCan for the lowest estimated annual fuel use in their respective classes:

  • Toyota Prius c (Compact car)
  • Toyota Prius (Mid-size car)
  • Toyota Prius v (Mid-size station wagon)
  • Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD (Small SUV)
  • Lexus RX 450h (Standard SUV)

This marked the 16th year in a row that a vehicle from the Prius Family was named to the list, including the Prius v leading the way in each of the four years it has been on the market. In fact, for the second year every Prius hybrid model won its respective category.


Toyota’s North American operations use energy, mainly electricity, natural gas, diesel and gasoline. Most of this energy is used at manufacturing plants to build powertrains and vehicles.

Our strategy for reducing the carbon footprint of our operations focuses on improving energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) efficiency from stationary sources, improving the fuel efficiency of our logistics operation and investing in renewable energy.

Energy & GHGs From Stationary Sources

Team members implement projects large and small that save electricity and natural gas and generate fewer GHG emissions from stationary sources. Examples of projects implemented in fiscal year 2016 include:

  • Optimizing chilled water systems. Last year, we reported on optimizing the chillers used to cool water for the HVAC systems at our plants in Ontario (Woodstock), Mississippi and Texas. Our powertrain plant in Huntsville, Alabama, is the newest to adopt this practice. Team members there installed variable frequency drives on cooling tower fans and pumps and made other modifications to three large chillers to make them operate more efficiently, which saves an estimated 1 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) and over 600 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Combined, the four plants that have optimized their chilled water systems save over 8 million kWh and 4,280 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.
  • Reducing compressed air demand. At our assembly plant in Mississippi, the supply of compressed air was often exceeding demand. Team members designed and programmed a control system to connect all the air compressors. The new system collects electronic data, operates different machines, provides alarm and warning notifications, and has the ability to program schedules between shifts and on weekends. This new system reduces annual electricity use by approximately 498,000 kWh and saves 302 metric tons of carbon dioxide and almost $40,000 per year.

Energy Efficiency Target

Reduce energy use 12 percent per vehicle produced by FY2016 (achieved early)

During fiscal year 2016, Toyota used 1.64 million megawatt-hours of electricity – a 2.4 percent decrease from the previous year – and 177.14 million cubic meters of natural gas – an 8.3 percent decrease from the previous year – at more than 85 North American facilities, including assembly and unit plants, parts and vehicle distribution centers, R&D centers and offices. Our consolidated energy efficiency target covers all of these sites.

Our target was to reduce energy use from stationary sources by 12 percent per vehicle produced by fiscal year 2016, from a 2010 baseline. We met this target in fiscal year 2015, one year ahead of schedule. At the end of fiscal year 2016, we had improved energy efficiency by 23.6 percent.

This target covers the purchase and use of non-renewable electricity and natural gas. We convert all energy measurements to MMBtus for this target as a way to combine these energy sources into a single metric.


ENERGY STAR Partnership

Since 2002, Toyota has saved over 16 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, the equivalent of powering 995,000 average American homes for an entire year. Saving that much energy across Toyota’s 14 North American manufacturing facilities could not have been possible without the individual efforts of team members to reduce energy use in their processes and work areas. Thanks to their efforts, Toyota earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence in Energy Management Award for the 12th consecutive year.

“Being named an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year is a tremendous honor,” said Toyota’s Plant and Environmental Engineering Group General Manager Robin Haugen. “Earning that honor 12 years in a row is testament to the dedication of our team members to reduce our carbon footprint and become an environmental leader in our industry.”

Since benchmarking began in 2002, Toyota has realized cost savings of more than $640 million and reduced overall energy consumption by 35 percent.

Through the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry program, EPA also recognizes plants that reduce their energy intensity by 10 percent within five years. In 2015, our plants in Troy, Missouri; Princeton, Indiana; Georgetown, Kentucky; San Antonio, Texas; and Baja California, Mexico, achieved the challenge.

Additionally, Toyota’s plants in Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Texas were certified as 2015 ENERGY STAR Manufacturing Plants for reaching the top 25 percent of energy performance in the automotive industry nationwide.


GHG Efficiency Target

Reduce GHG emissions from stationary sources 12 percent per vehicle produced by FY2016 (achieved early)

Our consolidated GHG emissions target covers more than 85 North American facilities, including assembly and unit plants, parts and vehicle distribution centers, R&D centers and offices. Our target was to reduce GHG emissions from stationary sources (emissions from our use of electricity and natural gas) by 12 percent per vehicle produced by fiscal year 2016, from a 2010 baseline.

We met this target in fiscal year 2015, one year ahead of schedule. At the end of fiscal year 2016, we had improved GHG efficiency by 22 percent.

Click here for more information on our North American GHG inventory, including total Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, and our reporting of GHG data to government agencies.


Fuel Efficiency in Logistics

In-house Service Parts Trucking

Last year, Toyota’s in-house service parts trucking replaced all of its 53-foot and 48-foot dealer delivery trailers. In California, the Air Resources Board (ARB) requires 53-foot length trailers – the longest trailer used in the U.S. – to be fitted with side skirts to direct air flow and improve fuel efficiency. We complied on our five 53-foot trailers, then went beyond ARB’s requirements by fitting side skirts on all 63 of our 48-foot trailers. EPA estimates that adding side skirts can improve fuel efficiency by up to 5 percent. This is a significant improvement when considering the average dealer delivery trailer averages 85,000 miles each year. The 68 new trailers join 95 trailers operating between parts distribution centers that are also fitted with side skirts. Combined, these 163 trailers travel in excess of 6 million miles every year.

Another way of saving fuel and reducing GHG emissions is by leveraging reverse logistics. Toyota began using our dealer delivery trailers to bring used parts such as batteries, transmissions and steering racks back to the distribution centers, where they are returned to suppliers and turned into remanufactured parts. This saves money, avoids GHG emissions and keeps used parts out of landfills.

In-House Vehicle Trucking

In 2016, Toyota Transport (truck carrier) and Toyota Logistics Services (shipper) renewed their membership in U.S. EPA’s SmartWay® Transport Partnership, a market-driven partnership aimed at helping businesses move goods in the cleanest, most efficient way possible. One of the main purposes of SmartWay is to improve fuel efficiency and reduce GHG emissions from the movement of goods. According to EPA, SmartWay partners have saved 170 million barrels of oil and $24.9 billion in fuel costs, resulting in 73 million metric tons of carbon dioxide avoided (2004-2015).

SmartWay Transport Partnership

Since joining SmartWay in 2009, Toyota Transport, our in-house trucking carrier for completed vehicles, has improved the GHG efficiency of its deliveries by 13 percent (per ton-kilometer). To further reduce GHG emissions, Toyota Transport began piloting a truck fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG) in the fall of 2015 for short hauls from the Port at Long Beach, California. The CNG truck was designed and built in collaboration with Peterbilt and Cottrell, Inc., the truck and trailer manufacturers. The CNG truck plus trailer is expected to emit 85 percent less overall particulate matter and 10 percent less carbon dioxide than its diesel-powered counterpart.

Renewable Energy

We have been expanding the use of renewable energy as a means of reducing our carbon footprint and our reliance on non-renewable energy sources. Renewable energy comes from naturally occurring sources that are not depleted as a result of consumption. Sunlight, wind, biomass and geothermal are common examples. Renewable energy can replace conventional fuels used for electricity generation and transportation.

We are evaluating applications of solar, geothermal, landfill gas to energy and stationary hydrogen fuel cells as well as the purchase of green power either directly from a utility company or through renewable energy credits. During fiscal year 2016, we used more than 13.7 million kWh of renewable energy across North America.

Landfill Gas Powers Kentucky Assembly Plant

Toyota’s assembly plant in Georgetown, Kentucky, has teamed up with Waste Services of the Bluegrass to generate power from local landfill waste, marking the region’s first business-to-business landfill gas to energy initiative.

As solid waste naturally breaks down in a landfill, methane gas – the second most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted in the U.S. – is created. A network of wells at the landfill collect this gas, which is used to fuel generators for electricity. Underground transmission lines then carry the electricity to Toyota’s assembly plant, located a few miles south of the landfill. The system reduces methane emissions from the landfill by as much as 90 percent.

The system went online in late 2015 and generates 1 megawatt of electricity each hour it operates, or about what it takes to power approximately 800 homes, based on average consumption in the U.S. Toyota estimates the locally generated landfill gas supplies enough power each year for the production of 10,000 vehicles.

Solar to Power New HQ Campus in Plano

Toyota’s plans for the new North American headquarters campus in Plano, Texas, call for a 7.75 megawatt solar system to be designed and installed by SunPower Corp. The system will be the largest on-site corporate office solar installation among non-utility companies in the state of Texas. In total, the system is expected to provide approximately 25 percent of the power needed for the new headquarters campus. The Plano solar array will reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 7,122 metric tons, or the equivalent of the electricity used by almost 1,000 homes for a year, and position Toyota as the leader among auto companies in the U.S. for installed solar power.

Current plans call for the solar system to be completed in phases. Phase one will cover two parking structures – approximately 2.45 megawatts per garage – and will come online by August 2017. The final installation, located on a third parking structure, is slated for December 2017 and will produce about 2.83 megawatts.

Toyota also signed a five-year energy contract with MP2, a Texas-based power company, to provide 100 percent renewable energy solutions to the Plano campus. Beyond the SunPower solar system, MP2 will procure renewable energy from various resources including wind, additional on-site generation in the future and renewable energy credits. The flexible energy contract also allows for excess power generation to be sold back to the grid. This contract was negotiated by Power Priority Management, an energy management solutions company.

Everything from LED lights to solar panels and high efficiency building shells will help cut down on the amount of energy used on campus. Multiple rooftops will feature specially designed roofs teeming with plant life to help manage rainwater, reduce heat and further insulate the buildings. This installation is just one example of Toyota’s environmental efforts to achieve the goal of Platinum LEED® Certification for the state-of-the-art campus.

“We are dedicated to making sure our new headquarters campus supports – even redefines – Toyota’s commitment to the environment,” said Kevin Butt, regional director of Toyota’s North American Environmental Sustainability department. “The Plano solar system will not only reduce our environmental footprint and educate team members about renewable energy, it will also move us closer to Toyota’s 2050 global environmental challenge to eliminate carbon emissions in all operations.”

Outreach: Toward A Low Carbon Future

We know that reducing our own carbon footprint isn’t enough. Achieving a low carbon future requires collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders. That’s why our outreach takes many forms. We provide funding and share our experience and know-how. We work with stakeholders ranging from government agencies to other companies and individual communities.

Examples of advancing our commitment to a low carbon future through outreach include:

  • Working with partners to develop hydrogen fueling infrastructure for fuel cell vehicles.
  • Hosting the 39th annual World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC).
  • Supporting the annual Dream Car Art Contest. One of this year’s winners of the U.S. contest envisions a solar-powered green energy maker as the car of the future.
  • Supporting the second annual ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship, which provides $50,000 eachto three young professors and scholars pursuing innovative electrochemical research in green energy technology.
  • Partnering with Horizon Educational Group to bring the Hydrogen Horizon Automotive Challenge to 20 California schools in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
  • Partnering with Shell Eco-marathon® Americas. The year-round program gives young innovators practical experience developing smarter, energy-efficient transportation technologies. Tracing its roots back to 1939 and a friendly competition between scientists at a Shell research facility, the program can inspire careers tackling the global energy challenge.