He pointed out emissions from logistics are in fact greater than what Toyota emits from production factories.
“We can reduce the volume of the transportation required, by reducing the size of the packaging and optimizing routes,” he added. “
There is still a lot of road transport in parts and vehicle delivery, but we are starting trials on fuel cell trucks. There are many things to overcome, but we are on the way.”
When it comes to the vehicles themselves, Toyota’s strategy for achieving carbon neutrality is based on a multi-technology approach including full-electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cells, and hybrids.
“One size in our opinion does not fit all—we are a multi-powertrain company,” he said. “We see the endpoint is the same, but the transition is going to be multi-technology.”
On the topic of hydrogen, Cooke called it a “credible solution” for passenger cars today, but more infrastructure and other enablers will be required to get it to scale.
He sees more heavy industry solutions to help hydrogen along, from rail and truck to maritime and replacing diesel generators.
“Fuel cells offer a lot of opportunity—we have a team producing fuel cells in Belgium,” he said.
“I do not see even by 2030 hydrogen passenger cars being a high-volume business, we see it supporting other industries that need de-carbonizing. Hydrogen is one of the key technologies for de-carbonizing society.”
Using the Toyota Production System–the heart of how the company does business—as a starting point, Cooke said when he looks at innovation and where it comes from, it stems from the company’s employees.
“We do not just say we pay people to work, we pay people to think,” he said. “We are all investing in new technology, but how can we continuously engage all our team members to improve their work? They know better than anyone what works well.”