06 February 2019

Visiting the Toyota Showroom in Tokyo and the Future of Electric Vehicles

Intro Copy

I’ve always had a love for Japan. And I’ve always loved cars. So, there's no doubt when I visit Japan, I check out the MEGA WEB Toyota theme park in Odaiba. It's a massive museum and Toyota showroom featuring concept cars, race cars and test rides. It is located in Tokyo Bay and accessed via Japan's Rainbow Bridge. I’ve been traveling to Japan since 2014 and I’ve visited the same showroom, only this time it was different. There were about 60 cars on display and several of them were hybrid or electric. The global competition for electric vehicles is charging up. Japan is aiming for all new passenger cars to be electric by 2050. Tesla has dominated the U.S. market, but companies such as Volvo, Jaguar, Toyota and others have plans to phase out gas-powered vehicles. Subsidies are also helping to make vehicles more affordable. Electric vehicles are part of the changing landscape of the automotive industry and from what I saw in the showroom, Toyota is focusing on sustainability.
The environmental challenge
Toyota has set up six challenges to reduce emissions by 2050. The Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 exhibit was on display at the MEGA WEB. The challenge not only involves lowering vehicle emissions, it also calls for optimizing water usage, renewable energy, recycling and other sustainable practices.
Driving into the future
The global car industry is undergoing a profound evolution. There are still a lot of questions and challenges such as whether infrastructure will catch up with the demand for more charging stations. The range of charging is constantly improving, but EV batteries may still take up to 12 hours to fully recharge. Battery replacements are still very expensive depending on the model. I had a fun time checking out the 2019 Toyota models. You can check out SIRS Issues Researcher to learn more about the future of electric vehicles and their impact on the environment.