Toyota Motor on Tuesday (6 December) said it intends to review and strengthen the development structure of its in-house powertrain company.

"Conventional engine-powered vehicles account for the vast majority of vehicles currently on the market, and HVs and PHVs, the advance of which is expected to continue, also have internal-combustion engines. In addition to promoting development of engines and transmissions, which are seen to remain mainstay for some time to come, toward the coming electrification of vehicles, Toyota is accelerating its development of hybrid technologies (electrification technologies), such as those used in electric motors, batteries and power control units (PCUs)," the automaker said in a statement.

Sharing technologies to raise the collective ability of the Toyota group

Toyota has long conducted research and development of key technologies and systems based on its policy to 'acquire through in-house creation'.

"The accumulation of knowledge, know-how and experience is what allows Toyota to turn failure into improvements," it said. This approach has been the backbone of research and development and is viewed as why the automaker was able to develop a practical hybrid system, launch the Prius, the first mass-production HV, and develop and be quick to market with the Mirai fuel cell vehicle (FCV).

"However, Toyota realises that it would be difficult to heighten the pace of development and commercialisation of electrification technologies for further reducing CO2 emissions if Toyota addressed such as it has done until now, relying only on its own resources," the statement added. "Toyota will continue to carefully select that which it deems necessary to "acquire through in-house creation". But, from now on, it will also promote the sharing of technologies within the group and increase the number of fields covered by joint research. It will strengthen joint development that uses cross-group obeya (project rooms with displays for sharing and reviewing goals, policies, timelines, progress and problems, etc), efficiently use group resources to quickly establish advanced technologies and aim for increases in three areas: in the collective ability of the group, in the speeding of development and in the scale of proliferation and expansion of environmental technologies."

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By GlobalData

Strengthening the development structure for hybrid technologies, which are core technologies for electrification

Key hybrid technologies, such as those found in electric motors, batteries and PCUs, are also key technologies used in vehicles that are powered by electricity, such as PHVs, FCVs and EVs. For the electrification of vehicles, to greatly accelerate the development of hybrid technologies, which Toyota positions as the core technologies of environmental technology development, the automaker plans to increase its number of hybrid technology-development personnel. It plans to reorganise its development structure starting in 2017 and increase its number of people involved in hybrid technology development by approximately 30% within the five years to the end of 2021. Beyond then, as well, it plans to further strengthen its human resources for hybrid technology development as needed.

Toyota is aiming to reduce new vehicle CO2 emissions by 90% (compared to 2010 levels) by 2050. Its principle policy of conserving energy is the cornerstone of its development of environment-friendly technologies, furthering the evolution of engines and transmissions and promoting widespread use of HVs and PHVs, all contributing to the aim of improving fuel efficiency as a means of reducing CO2 emissions.

With an eye on limiting the consumption of fossil fuels centred on petrol, and to respond to the diversification of energy sources, the automaker is advancing its development of zero-emission vehicles, such as FCVs, which use hydrogen, and EVs.

To further reduce CO2 emissions, Toyota is continuing its development of environmental technologies and its commercialisation of environment-friendly vehicles from the perspective that environmental contributions cannot be achieved without widespread use of environment-friendly vehicles.

"Going forward, through TNGA-based, ever-better car making, to accelerate the commercialisation of ever-better cars that are both fun to drive and that contribute to earth's environment and to accelerate the reduction of CO2 emissions, Toyota will strengthen its undertakings by rallying the collective ability of the group," the automaker said.