• Uchiyamada Event

Takeshi Uchiyamada

Chairman of the Board, Toyota Motor Corporation | September 30, 2013
Uchiyamada discussed the sales of hybrid vehicles, hydrogen cells, and the next-generation battery

Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman of the Board, Toyota Motor Corporation, challenged the auto industry to step up manufacturing and sales of hybrid vehicles in the United States when he spoke at the Economic Club. Known as the “father of Prius” for having led development of this successful hybrid vehicle, Mr. Uchiyamada set a goal for the industry of selling “five million hybrids in the U.S. by the end of 2016.” Acknowledging that “Some people say hybrid vehicles such as the Prius are only a bridge to the future,” Mr. Uchiyamada added, “But we think it could be a long bridge and a very sturdy one.” He also told Economic Club members that Toyota will introduce a car powered by a hydrogen cell as early as 2015 and that the company is working on a next-generation battery that could make hybrids more efficient and extend their range. He said the target date for production of the battery is 2020.

Excerpts from Event

“Right now our focus is on the U.S. market. … The largest sales volume for Toyota is here in the United States. We are selling slightly less than 10 million units throughout the world, and, of that, over 2 million cars are sold here in the United States. Therefore, the United States, in the world, is the center of politics and economy. It’s very stable. And also the business environment is very fair, stable, and it is business-friendly.” ~ Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman of the Board, Toyota Motor Corporation

“Some people say hybrid vehicles such as the Prius are only a bridge to the future, but we think it could be a long bridge and a very sturdy one because there are many more gains we can achieve with hybrids.” ~ Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman of the Board, Toyota Motor Corporation

“We will continue to offer many types of hybrids, more than any other manufacturer. One variation is the plug-in hybrid. It reduces CO2 to the same extent than an all-electric vehicle does, but the big difference is that a plug-in can be driven on its gasoline-charged engine even if it runs out of electricity … That gives a driver much more confidence that he or she will not run out of juice somewhere along the highway. The United States has many hybrids on the roads, but today I wish to call on the other industries to sell 5 million of these vehicles in the United States by the end of 2016 on a cumulative basis. I want our industry to work closely together to achieve this goal of 5 million hybrids in America.” ~ Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman of the Board, Toyota Motor Corporation

“… we have made big progress in developing a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle. Toyota will be able to offer that in a sedan around 2015. A fuel-cell vehicle has zero tailpipe emissions, just like an electric vehicle, but it does not have issues of driving range and charging time that electric vehicles have. I personally expect a lot from this hydrogen fuel-cell technology.” ~ Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman of the Board, Toyota Motor Corporation

“… other technological challenges I would like to touch on. And one is automated driving technologies. We are now able to recognize driving conditions surrounding the car and to determine a driver’s physical condition. We do that by using millimeter wave radar and an object recognition camera system. We can control vehicle behavior using sensors on the front of the vehicle to apply brakes and control steering. We believe these technologies must be introduced in stages. They must be layered on because we always have to be prepared for the worst-case accident. We must make sure that drivers and society as a whole fully understand the implications of these new technologies. Issues of safety must never be compromised. Our ultimate goal is zero fatalities from accidents.” ~ Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman of the Board, Toyota Motor Corporation

“If we could combine vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, we could create an intelligent transportation system that could detect congestion far in advance. We could see a vehicle even before it enters a highway or we could see a vehicle hidden behind a fence or a building. This also has the potential to prevent accidents and congestion. It also would reduce emissions.” ~ Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman of the Board, Toyota Motor Corporation

“The question is how we get it all done and who pays for it [new automotive technology]. We will need standards that specify how cars made by different manufacturers will communicate with each other. And an overall communications network must be created. Government and industry will have to work together to allow that to happen. New business models and new industries may also have to spring up. We are pursuing the automated driving and connectivity technologies separately, but ultimately they will come together as part of the same system. They will be like a belt and trousers. They will fit with each other. When you add all this up you can see how different cars will be in just a few years’ time. We really are in the process of creating cars of the future.” ~ Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman of the Board, Toyota Motor Corporation

 

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