Japan Wants Every New Car Sold in 2050 to Be Electrified

Japan expressed interest in seeing every new passenger vehicle sold in its borders come 2050 to either be a hybrid or all-electric.

Honda North America

A panel of Japan's economic ministry declared Tuesday that it intends to make all new passenger vehicles sold in the country in 2050 either hybrids or fully electric vehicles.

Part of the panel was made up of executives of major Japanese automakers, including Toyota and Nissan according to The Mainichi. In the panel's report, it announced that a joint venture between industry players will form before March of 2019, with the purpose of collaborating to secure cobalt, a key resource for battery manufacturing. Long term goals for the panel also include a 90 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by individual vehicles from 2010 levels by 2050.

"Japan would like to contribute to achieve zero emissions on a global scale by spreading electric vehicles worldwide," stated Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry, Hiroshige Seko, during the panel's meeting, as quoted by The Mainichi. "That's a goal only Japan, home to the top level of the auto industry, can set."

A move toward electric power conflicts some with Toyota's own intent to bring fuel cell propulsion to the mass market. Toyota reportedly plans to bring the cost of fuel cell vehicles down to a level comparable to hybrids, and launch a range of heavy-duty fuel cell vehicles including pickups, SUVs, and commercial trucks.

Japan's timeline for mandatory electrification works on a more conservative timeline than many European nations. The Netherlands plan a full-scale ban of new internal combustion vehicles by 2025, Norway will mandate hybrid or full-electric vehicles by 2030, and both France and the United Kingdom intend to codify similar bans by 2040. Germany and China have stated similar intents, but not provided target years for enactment of similar laws.