Overview of the Development of New Energy Vehicles in Japan

The industrialization achievements of new energy vehicles in Japan are the best in the world. In terms of new energy vehicles, Japan mainly follows the technical route of hybrid electric vehicles, and its hybrid electric vehicle technology leads the world. Japanese hybrid vehicles represented by the Toyota Prius have taken the lead in the development and sales of low-pollution vehicles in the world.

At present, more than half of the hybrid vehicles that have been listed on the European and American markets are produced and sold by Japanese automobile companies. Toyota’s first-generation Prius hybrid electric vehicle (Figure 1) was launched in December 1997, and the fourth-generation Toyota Prius was released in December 2015. By January 2017, the global sales of the fourth-generation model had exceeded 4 million, becoming Currently the most successful hybrid model. At the same time, Japan is also rapidly developing fuel cell vehicle technology, and Toyota and Honda Motor Corporation have become important companies in today’s world fuel cell vehicle market.

Overview of the Development of New Energy Vehicles in Japan
Figure 1 Toyota Prius Hybrid Electric Vehicle

Toyota also divides future automotive power into three categories: the first category is small family vehicles for short-distance mobility, which are pure electric vehicles; the second category is general household passenger cars, which are hybrid and plug-in hybrids. Power vehicles include gasoline, light fuel oil, biofuels, natural gas, and synthetic fuels; the third category is commercial vehicles used for long-distance transportation, which are fuel cell vehicles. Among these powers, the ultimate fuel that Toyota believes will be obtained by using electricity and water. In addition to Toyota, several other Japanese auto companies are also developing a new generation of new energy vehicles, such as Honda Insight IMG hybrid electric vehicles (Figure 2), Nissan Leaf (Figure 3) and Mitsubishi i-MiEV (Figure 4) pure electric vehicles Cars etc.

Overview of the Development of New Energy Vehicles in Japan
Figure 2 Honda Insight IMG hybrid electric vehicle
Overview of the Development of New Energy Vehicles in Japan
Figure 3 Nissan Leaf Pure Electric Vehicle
Overview of the Development of New Energy Vehicles in Japan
Figure 4 Mitsubishi i-MiEV pure electric vehicle

The Japanese government launched the “Next Generation Car” plan in June 2009. The so-called “Next Generation Car” actually refers to environmentally friendly cars, including hybrid cars, pure electric cars, and fuel cell cars. The plan strives to enable environmentally friendly vehicles to occupy about half of the total automotive market by 2050. In order to achieve this plan, the Japanese government has promoted the development of environmentally friendly vehicles through assistance in the construction of electric vehicle infrastructure, tax cuts and subsidies.

On April 12, 2010, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan put forward a report that the “next generation vehicles” such as hybrid electric vehicles and pure electric vehicles will account for 20% to 50% of new car sales by 2020, namely, the “Next Generation Vehicle Strategy 2010” , The report also put forward the goal of building 2 million ordinary charging stations and 5,000 fast DC piles by 2020.

In order to promote new energy vehicles and environmentally friendly vehicles, Japan has implemented a “green tax system” from April 1, 2009. Its applicable objects include pure electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles, clean diesel vehicles, natural gas vehicles, and certified low-emission vehicles. Vehicles with low fuel consumption. The first three types of cars are defined by the Japanese government as “next generation cars”, and the purchase of these cars can enjoy a variety of tax exemptions. Japan’s “green tax system” can reduce the tax of hybrid vehicles by 20,000 yen and the vehicle purchase tax by 40,000 yen. At the same time, another “subsidy” policy can pay half of the price difference between hybrid cars and gasoline prototypes. Therefore, a hybrid car with a price of 2 million yen can save about 260,000 yen in total, accounting for about 13%. More importantly, in recent years, due to the realization of large-scale production, the price of hybrid vehicles has a lot of room to drop. The actual purchase basically eliminates the price difference with gasoline prototypes, which in turn has further promoted the hybridization. The sales scale of powered cars has thus entered a virtuous circle. At the same time, fuel saving also allows consumers to taste the sweetness of using hybrid vehicles. In short, the government’s policy initiation has played a key role, and companies have played a role in ensuring reliable quality products.

In addition, Japan has implemented a low-emission vehicle certification system. Both high- and mid-range cars and economy cars can apply to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism for the certification of low-emission vehicles. Consumers can enjoy different tax reductions according to the emission levels of the vehicles they purchase, and local public organizations that purchase low-pollution vehicles such as natural gas fuel or hybrid vehicles can also receive government subsidies. With the active support of the Japanese government, major Japanese automobile manufacturers have also put forward their own new energy vehicle strategies without exception. Toyota announced that it will increase the number of hybrid vehicle models to 10 in the next few years: Nissan has mass-produced pure electric vehicles for the Japanese and European markets; Mitsubishi Motors and Fuji Heavy Industries are also actively promoting the commercialization of pure electric vehicles.

Do you still want to see the general situation of automobile development in various countries? Please watch some of the previous articles-Overview of the Development of New Energy Vehicles in the U.S., etc.