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Japan, South Korean leaders push for US EV tax credit rule changes


South Korean officials and leaders from Japan are expressing concerns over the new US EV tax credit requirements that kick in at the end of the year. New reports are surfacing that Japan and South Korea will request flexibility in the rule changes. Will they get their way, paving the way for automakers like Toyota, Hyundai, and Kia electric vehicles to qualify?

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Toyota will convert Japanese engine plants to build batteries – is it finally coming around to EVs?

Toyota batteries

Japanese automaker Toyota continues to delve deeper into a Bizarro-mirrored universe in which it actually (sort of) behaves like an EV automaker. Following news earlier this week in which the EV laggards laid out an $5.6 billion investment plan to build batteries, Toyota is already making moves to convert two engine and powertrain plants near its Japanese headquarters to produce EV batteries instead.

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EU renewables plan spotlights Japan’s weak targets as G7 energy meeting kicks off

Japan clean energy

The EU plans to transition to renewables more than twice as fast as Japan by 2030, according to new analysis released by global energy think tank Ember ahead of the G7 environment, climate, and energy ministers meeting, which kicks off today in Berlin. The ministers will decide whether and how G7 countries will commit to clean power by 2035. 

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Autonomous cargo ship completes 500 mile voyage, avoiding hundreds of collisions

autonomous cargo ship

The “world’s first” autonomous commercial cargo ship has successfully completed a near-500 mile voyage in the congested waters of Tokyo Bay, traveling without human intervention for 99% of the trip. The 750 gross-ton vessel was powered by Orca AI, whose software helped the ship avoid hundreds of collisions autonomously.

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Toyota to launch an electrified SUV version of its Crown sedan, the first Toyota exported to the US in the 1950s

Toyota Crown SUV

A recent report out of Tokyo says that Toyota is working on an SUV version of its Crown sedan, arriving in hybrid, PHEV, and fully-electric versions for its home country in addition to exports of some versions to China and North America. The Crown was the first Toyota vehicle to be exported to the United States in 1958, and it has remained a mainstay model in the Japanese market for 67 years.

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QuantumScape opens R&D center in Japan to expand solid-state battery development

QuantumScape Japan

Solid-state battery developer, QuantumScape, has shared plans for a new office in Kyoto, Japan, which will feature a state-of-the-art lab for battery research and development. The company hopes to work alongside experienced battery scientists in the Asia-Pacific region to further develop and manufacturer it battery technologies for electric vehicles.

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Honda CEO says Toyota’s strategy to pursue hydrogen combustion ‘doesn’t seem feasible’

Honda Toyota hydrogen

Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe recently spoke to proposals of hydrogen combustion cars by rivals like Toyota, stating his company studied the technology’s potential ten years ago. Mibe went on to say that unlike Toyota, Honda doesn’t see hydrogen combustion as feasible for cars. That doesn’t mean the Japanese automaker is abandoning the chemical element, however. Hydrogen Fuel Cell EVs remain a key part of its zero-emissions strategy looking forward.

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How Toyota sneakily spreads anti-EV propaganda in Japan

(The following article was sent to us by a concerned Japanese resident who wishes to remain anonymous.)

Remember the first electric Toyota RAV4? Probably not. The early attempt at an EV barely had a range of 100 miles and Toyota sold very few of them. Back in 2010, Toyota and Tesla jointly worked on a second RAV4 EV project and Toyota had invested $50 million in Tesla, which it sold in 2017 (and which would now be worth $20 billion had they not sold it).

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EGEB: Japan and Alaska unveil a new draft energy policy, solar and wind power could save droughty countries

Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Today on EGEB, Japan updates its toothless energy plan. Oil-producing Alaska seeks carbon-free power to save itself from thawing permafrost. A new report shows how the 20 most water-stressed countries also have the most potential for solar energy and could thus alleviate their people’s thirst by going green.


Toyota’s i-Road electric vehicle project is not dead

iroad_contents_imgToyota has very few electric vehicle projects in the works. The company is focusing its zero-emission effort on hydrogen-powered vehicles over battery-powered ones, but the i-Road concept is an exception.

The three-wheel electric vehicle is what I call “too concept” to ever be a production product. The futuristic design and independently moving front wheels are something that would appear to always be of the future, but the Japan-based auto giant seems to be pushing for a commercial release.