Japan considers banning sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles in mid-2030s

It’s quickly turning into a global trend
This picture taken on July 14, 2020 shows Nissan’s new electric SUV, Ariya, during a press preview at the Nissan Pavilion in Yokohama. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP) (Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)

TOKYO — Japan may ban sales of new gasoline-engine cars by the mid-2030s in favor of hybrid or electric vehicles, public broadcaster NHK reported on Thursday, aligning it with other countries and regions that are imposing curbs on fossil fuel vehicles.

The move would follow Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s pledge in October for Japan to slash carbon emissions to zero on a net basis by 2050 and make the country the second G7 nation in a little over two weeks to set a deadline for phasing out gasoline vehicles.
Japan’s industry ministry will map out a plan by the year-end, chief government spokesman Katsunobu Kato told a news conference on Thursday.
The likelihood of state interventions to lower carbon emissions is fueling a technological race among carmakers to build electric cars and hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles that will lure drivers as they switch from gasoline models, particularly in the world’s two biggest auto markets, China and the U.S.
Measures already in place in Japan mean Japanese automakers, particularly big ones such as Toyota with greater research and development resources, could use electric vehicle technology they have already developed at home.
Nissan Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta last month told Reuters his company was ready to respond to Britain’s decision to hasten a phase-out date for new petrol and diesel powered cars and vans by five years to 2030 because it was part of a global trend.
Japan’s industry ministry is considering requiring all new vehicles to be electric or hybrid, NHK reported earlier, adding the ministry would finalize a formal target following expert-panel debates as early as the year-end.
Japanese automakers for now are keeping quiet on what impact those measures could have on their businesses.
Toyota, Honda, Nissan and its alliance partner Mitsubishi Motors declined to comment.
In Japan, the share of electric vehicles is expected to increase to 55% in 2030, Boston Consulting Group said in a report on prospects for battery-powered cars.
Globally, “The speed of expansion of the share of electric vehicles will accelerate due to the fact that battery prices are falling more rapidly than previously expected,” Boston Consulting said in the report.
Japan, China and South Korea recently announced firm targets to end net emissions of carbon, which has given momentum for companies and banks to push for cutbacks to keep global warming in check.
Apart from Britain, parts of the United States and Canada, Norway and Germany, have curbed or are planning to curb fossil fuel cars. The wider European Union is expected to decide on future restrictions as early as this month.
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Howard Rudzki HOWARD RUDZKI Howard Rudzki has turned his passion for bike riding, dogs and education into vehicles to help for good. He started out bike riding when he was 20 for the pleasure and enjoyment that a good ride provides and has been a committed cyclist ever since. Rudzki rides every week either by himself or as part of group and annually participates in fundraising rides. For the last three years, he has ridden in America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride, raising money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, whose mission is to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and improve the quality of lives for their patients and families.When he is not riding, Rudzki spends his time going to animal shelters across the L.A. Basin rescuing older dogs. He is committed to saving displaced, unwanted canines and rehabilitating them with proper medical and nutritional care so they can thrive in safe and caring homes where they will be a loved family member.In addition to helping animals, Rudzki believes he has an obligation to give back to underprivileged communities so that all children are able to receive a good education. Over the years, he has donated computers, printers and software to schools to help develop the future leaders of our city.