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Toyota Boss Insists ‘Carbon’ Is Real Enemy, Not Engines - And He's Right

Toyota Boss Insists ‘Carbon’ Is Real Enemy, Not Engines - And He's Right


"Carbon is our enemy; internal combustion engines aren’t” - this is the sentiment held by Toyota President Akio Toyoda, which was echoed at a press conference for the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) earlier in September.

He was, of course, referring to the global crisis of greenhouse gas emissions - specifically carbon dioxide - which he believes is being unfairly blamed on automobiles and their internal combustion engines (ICEs). The stance taken by the Toyota boss, who is also JAMA chairman, might not jive with the mainstream view, but is firmly rooted in reality.

Akio Toyoda - JAMA

Toyoda is also critical of the of the move made by leaders in the European Union to hastily phase out (or outright ban) the sale of combustion-powered cars to forcibly coax the public into the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), encouraging the powers that be in Japan to not blindly follow their example.

He highlighted the fact that Japan's automotive industry managed to slice CO2 emissions by 23% over the past 20 years, a very impressive figure by international standards, and achieved mostly through its pioneering hybrid technology that was first popularised in the Toyota Prius.

Toyota Prius

Tackling global carbon emissions is a much larger issue that requires more nuanced solutions on so many fronts, and over a prolonged period. By comparison, simply forcing everyone to drive EVs - like they will be doing in Europe - is a rather crude and somewhat foolish remedy.

Cars, as we’ve been using them, seem to face the brunt of scrutiny and anger from environmental activists as they are the most prominent source of emissions in everyday life, but only contributes a fraction of the carbon released into our atmosphere alongside air travel, landfills, shipping, industry, manufacturing, factory farming, and the emissions generated just to heat or cool our homes.

Much of the world was ordered to stay at home through 2020 with severe and disruptive restrictions on travel and economic activity, but all that did was reduce carbon emissions by a mere 7% over 2019. Small as that is, EVs can only hope to make a dent of that scale.

JAMA - Toyota

Toyoda continued: “What we need to do over the next several years is to leverage the technological advantages that we have built up and take immediate steps to maximize CO2 reductions using the electrified vehicles we have now,”

“Any leeway that cars are able to generate in the process may allow us to put more time and resources towards technological innovation in other industries. Based on that thinking, I believe that exploring options which fit with our country’s circumstances is both a practical and fundamentally Japanese approach.”

Akio Toyoda

He also reiterated his commitment, and that of Toyota’s, to aggressively and unwaveringly pursue carbon neutrality and to fully cooperate with the government (of Japan) in addressing global warming and CO2 emissions reduction.

However, he continued, “if internal combustion engines (ICEs) are referred to as the “enemy” in the battle of carbon neutrality, we wouldn’t be able to produce most of our vehicles. In our estimate, non-ICE vehicles (BEVs and FCEVs) will not reach 2 million units even in 2030, so in that case, vehicle production of more than 8 million units would be lost.

Toyoda Assembly

“If that happens, even in the automotive industry that increased 120 thousand jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, we might lose the vast majority of our 5.5 million jobs. I would like policy makers to understand this point when addressing the environmental issue moving forward this year.”

Some automakers have made a big fuss about going all-in on EVs, even quite recently, but Toyota is planning to maintain its ‘powertrain-agnostic’ approach with their roadmap offering internal combustion engines alongside petrol-electric (parallel) hybrids, plug-in hybrids, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles (FCEVs), and battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

Toyota - Alternative Propulsion

Also worth remembering is that the mass shift to EVs themselves, despite being the darlings of the armchair environmentalist, involves tremendous cost to produce, both in resources, currency, and emissions. Studies point out how the mining and manufacture of EV batteries could yield a greater negative impact to our total greenhouse gas emissions than exhaust fumes - especially when production ramps up closer to the EU-imposed EV-only deadlines around 2030. Not to mention the environmental impact of such large scale scrapping of older vehicles to accommodate this transition.

Toyota - FCEV

Mankind has also yet to secure environmentally friendly and sustainable energy technology. Cleanly produced electricity in 2020 accounts for only a tiny percentage of any given country’s total generation. At the rate the world is consuming electricity, renewable sources (not just clean ones) just can’t keep up with our hunger.

Furthermore, without this sweeping energy solution at its core, should the majority of car buyers switch to EVs en masse, the strain on the electrical grid to supply these cars with charge will increase in orders of magnitude. Predictably, so too will the global dependence on non-renewable ‘dirty’ means of energy generation - does this sound like progress?

Toyota has gotten its share of flak from the public about seemingly being behind the times with ‘going green’ despite its track record of being electrified before pretty much any other automaker. Environmentalism groups in America have even started a movement to try boycotting Toyota for not doubling down on EVs as fanatically as other brands have.

Toyota Super Taikyu - Corolla

Swimming against this current, the Japanese automaker has made no secret of their fondness for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, insisting they hold the key to solving much of the world’s vehicle-related emissions problems and dependence on fossil fuels, but admits the technology still needs further research and cars like the Mirai needing refinement.

Alongside this, Toyota has been experimenting with running hydrogen as a cleaner direct substitute for petrol in combustion engines, even fielding a race-spec Corolla for a 5 hour endurance race during the fourth round of the 2021 Super Taikyu Series.

Toyota bZ4X Concept

Not all is quiet on the EV front for Toyota, however, as the company is preparing to bring a production version of its bZ4X concept to market as their first ever electric vehicle. This will be paralleled in its Subaru twin called the Solterra. Meanwhile, on similar underpinnings, Lexus have shown off its debut ground-up EV, the LF-Z, in concept form, and has confirmed a 2022 launch for its first fully electric model.

Proton X50 Talaan Stage 2 Tawan Litar Sepang – 200 HP, 310 Nm Tork

Proton X50 Talaan Stage 2 Tawan Litar Sepang – 200 HP, 310 Nm Tork

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Sebuah Proton X50 yang ditala pada tahap 2 telah dilenjan di Litar Antarabangsa Sepang (SIC) bagi menguji kemampuan jentera yang sudah diubahsuai berkenaan dan hasilnya amat memberangsangkan!

Menerusi sebuah hantaran yang dilakukan oleh All In CROSS FIFTY Accessories Malaysia di Facebook, ini merupakan kali kedua Proton X50 tersebut dibawa turun ke Litar Sepang. Kali ini, SUV berkenaan dipandu oleh pelumba professional Malaysia, Mark Darwin.

Proton X50,SIC,Litar Sepang,Track,stage 2

Memandangkan talaan tahap 2 pada SUV ini telah selesai, SUV popular Proton tersebut kini mampu menjana output sehingga 200 hp dan 310 Nm tork berbanding X50 asal keluaran kilang yang hanya menghasilkan 175 hp serta 255 Nm tork.

SUV segmen-B Proton ini telah berjaya mencatatkan 2 minit 47 saat sebagai catatan masa terpantas dan terbaik dengan purata kelajuan 122km/j. Kalau nak diikutkan, catatan masa tersebut dianggap laju memandangkan Proton X50 ini merupakan sebuah SUV, bukanlah kereta sport ataupun hot-hatch.

Proton X50,SIC,Litar Sepang,Track,stage 2

Apa yang buatkan kereta ni lebih laju berbanding kereta X50 biasa? Jawapannya pastilah ada pada penambahbaikan yang telah dilakukan pada SUV ini. Berikut merupakan antara modifikasi yang dilakukan pada Proton X50 tersebut:

  • Sistem suspensi boleh laras 32-langkah DWD
  • Sesendal (bushing) berprestasi tinggi
  • Bar pengukuh casis SuperCircuit
  • Kit brek Brembo 6 Pot 380mm
  • Paip ekzos catless SuperCircuit
  • Talaan Unit Kawalan Elektronik (ECU) Stage 2

Segala penambahbaikan ini sedikit sebanyak membantu meningkatkan kuasa serta kawalan pengendalian SUV ini di dalam litar. Jika anda rujuk pada video yang dikongsikan, kelihatan seolah-olah Proton X50 tersebut melekat di atas litar.

Meskipun SUV tersebut telah dilenjan selama 4 jam di Litar Sepang, namun Proton X50 tersebut masih berfungsi seperti biasa tanpa sebarang masalah. Perkara ini telah disahkan sendiri oleh pemilik kereta berkenaan di Facebook beliau.

Proton X50,Litar Sepang,SIC,modifikasi,ECU,stage 2

Menerusi sebuah hantaran yang dilakukan oleh pemilik kereta berkenaan di Facebook, kotak gear standard DCT 7-kelajuan pada X50 itu masih tahan meskipun setelah 20 kali membuat pusingan di Sepang tanpa menunjukkan sebarang kekurangan kuasa atau kerosakan dalam penukaran gear. Pemilik kereta berkenaan turut memuji Proton X50 dengan memanggilnya kereta yang dibina untuk bertahan lama.

Untuk maklumat lanjut mengenai Proton X50 yang menawan Litar Sepang ini, anda boleh tonton video di bawah:

*Sumber: All In CROSS FIFTY Accessories Malaysia, Lee Jian Xian

MARii, PEKEMA’s Nationwide Charging Network Starts With First Five

MARii, PEKEMA’s Nationwide Charging Network Starts With First Five

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Last month, the Malay Vehicle Importers and Traders Association of Malaysia (PEKEMA) banded together with the Malaysia Automotive Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) to work towards rolling out a country-spanning network of DC fast-charging stations (DCFC).

Their goal is to surpass the 1,000 mark for individual charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) by 2025, independently bolstering the infrastructure necessary for the nation to successfully adopt these battery-powered post-combustion means of personal transport, but all good things have to start somewhere.

With their ambitious goal set a few years away, the coalition has already set up 5 charging station locations in Malaysia - 4 of which being in the Klang Valley and the other in Sarawak. Of these, only Vision Motorsports beat them to the rollout with their 40kW 100A DC and 22kW AC chargers erected and running by late 2019.

Joining the list under this MARii and PERKEMA alliance is:

  • Hamza Motors in Kg. Sungai Penchala, Kuala Lumpur
  • Zaibar Automobile in Shah Alam, Selangor
  • Utama Motors along Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur
  • SRS Automobile in Kuching, Sarawak

Of those additional four charging locations, only Utama Motors utilises the slower 40kW DC charging rate where the remaining 3 get access to a slightly speedier 60kW. All 5, however, support the more standard and leisurely 22kW AC charging.

Even so, ‘charging speed’ here is used rather loosely as none of these charging stations will be able to charge up a modern EV with a high-capacity battery in the time it takes to have a cup of coffee. It will be considerably quicker than plugging the car into a wall outlet or home charger but won’t help much if you’re in a hurry.

That said, it should be commended that the network (so far as the 5 stations recently established) is open to the public for any EV owner to use without charge. However, seeing as how they are located within business premises, there is a soft limit to when exactly they will be available.

Only Hamza Motors offers the public charging facility 24 hours a day with a security guard on duty. For the rest, normal business hours apply.

Going forward, as their charging network expands, there will come a time when they will need to monetise access to these stations, to which MARii and PERKEMA will roll out various services and companion partnerships to manage this ecosystem of chargers and EV drivers.  

Over the next several years, they plan to spread these 1,000-strong charging stations across highways, urban centres, and most high income neighbourhoods throughout the country.

*All photos courtesy of MYEVOC FB
Interstate Travel Coming Soon! Very Soon!

Interstate Travel Coming Soon! Very Soon!

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As was mentioned before the interstate travel ban will be lifted when the adult population vaccination rate in Malaysia reaches 90%. We are currently at 87.2% as of the time of publication.

In a posting on his official Twitter account on October 2, 2021, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said 86% of the adult population in Malaysia has been fully vaccinated.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin 86% of adults Malaysia vaccinated

He went on to add, "With greater mobility, there will be more gatherings.

“We need to take responsibility for our actions. If you develop symptoms get a test kit and test. If positive, isolate quickly,” he tweeted. 

Recently, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob also mentioned that interstate travel would be allowed when 90% of the country's adult population was fully vaccinated. 

This was further echoed by National Recovery Council (MPN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin who even indicated that interstate travel might be allowed as early as mid-October. 

At the time of publication according to the COVIDNOW portal, the adult population in Malaysia fully vaccinated stood at 87.2%. 

Rise In E-Hailing Delivery Rider Accidents Is Worrying

Rise In E-Hailing Delivery Rider Accidents Is Worrying

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Ever since the pandemic hit us, there has been a rise in demand for food delivery riders due largely to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19, that rise however has also caused a rise in accidents involving e-hailing riders. 

While this rise in demand has provided people with fast foods and more jobs, it's a bit concerning that a total of 347 accidents have been recorded by the police involving e-hailing food delivery riders in the first seven months of this year.

Revealing this concern, Bukit Aman Deputy Director of Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department (JSPT), Datuk Mohd Nadzri Hussain, said that out of the total, 48 cases involved fatal accidents while the others involved minor and severe injuries.

Data collected from January 2020 to July 2021 across the country showed that out of the 347 accidents, 48 were fatal while the rest were severe or minor injuries.

For 2020, e-hailing drivers and riders recorded 17 deaths, 10 severe cases and 64 with minor injuries.

However, the number of road accidents involving the group has seen a drastic rise this year.

"Jika dilihat dari Januari hingga Julai 2021 sahaja, sebanyak 31 kes kematian direkodkan membabitkan penunggang e-hailing manakala 26 mangsa cedera parah dan 199 cedera ringan," he said to Harian Metro.

E-hailing operation JSPTInfographic source: Harian Metro

One of the reasons for this rise in cases involving the group boils down to them not complying with the law regarding movement and traffic rules.

"Antaranya mereka melanggar lampu isyarat merah, menggunakan telefon bimbit, tidak memakai topi keledar, berhenti di petak kuning dan tiada lesen memandu dan cukai jalan. Selain itu kesalahan lain dikesan adalah membabitkan ubah suai kenderaan dan kesalahan berkaitan teknikal seperti nombor pendaftaran tidak ikut spesifikasi," he said.

Datuk Mohd Nadzri HussainImage credit: astroawani

According to JSPT's study and statistics, the offences often committed by those involved were violating traffic lights, using mobile phones and not wearing helmets.

This is one of the major causes of accidents involving e-hailing riders, which continues to increase and is really beginning to get out of hand.

However, the number of summons for e-hailing offences could not be provided specifically as he said the enforcement is comprehensive on all motorcyclists.

He added that the number of summonses issued against motorcyclists for traffic light violations amounted to 47,393 from January 1, 2020, to July 2021.

E-hailing riders racing

With this being said, JSPT advises all e-hailing drivers and riders to always abide by the laws and regulations of the road to ensure safety on the road for the well-being of themselves and the people.

"Kerja mereka mencari rezeki halal dengan menjadi penghantar makanan terutama ketika pandemik COVID-19 ini memang mulia kerana memudahkan orang ramai mendapatkan makanan tanpa perlu keluar rumah".

But what's the point of endangering themselves by violating traffic laws that end up threatening their own lives, he added.

So dear e-hailing riders and drivers, we know a hungry man is an angry man, but please do not rush or break the law in an attempt to appease stomachs, we understand that you need to stop for red lights!