Toyota plan to drop diesel engine options from all it new models, and predict that a hydrogen fuel cell car will be as cheap as a hybrid by the early 2020s.
You might be forgiven for thinking that Toyota has never really had time for diesel engine technology, and in many ways you’d be right.
Try and buy a diesel-engined Toyota in 2017 and you’ll struggle, especially if you want it in something funky and cool like the Toyota C-HR.
Of course, Toyota do offer diesels, especially in stuff like the Hilux and Land Cruiser or where Fleet buyers insist, but they really aren’t front and centre.
In fact, you can’t have a diesel engine in any Lexus model at all in the UK, and now it looks like Toyota is going to follow suit with Toyota cars too.
Speaking at the Toyota Motor Show, Toyota VP Didier Leroy said that he took the conscious decision not to offer the C-HR with a diesel engine when it launched, and he couldn’t see Toyota launching any new car in the future with an oil burner. Which is clear enough.
It also continues to vindicate Toyota’s long-held belief in hybrid powertrains, and with their ‘600 mile Battery’ EVs round the corner there will arguably be little demand for diesel.
But as well as declaring diesel is all but dead at Toyota, Toyota also revealed that the next-generation hydrogen fuel cell technology will mean Toyota can deliver a hydrogen-powered car for the same price as a hybrid car. And it will start to arrive in the early 2020s.
That would mean hydrogen powered cars suddenly become hugely viable, as long as business gets behind it and develops a refuelling infrastructure.
And if Toyota’s prediction is right, we should perhaps be looking at legislation to compel petrol stations to offer hydrogen refuelling too?
Not ideal in a free market, but sometimes the tide needs a helping hand.