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Toyota to phase out gas-powered cars by 2050

The company expects hybrid and hydrogen-powered cars to figure in its future.

By Ed Adamczyk
The Toyota Mirai fuel cell car is displayed at the 2015 International CES, a trade show of consumer electronics, in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 7, 2015. Photo by Molly Riley/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/76b8f84a388e02e345578044fcea1098/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
The Toyota Mirai fuel cell car is displayed at the 2015 International CES, a trade show of consumer electronics, in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 7, 2015. Photo by Molly Riley/UPI | License Photo

TOKYO, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Toyota Motor Corp. announced Wednesday it intends to gradually phase out its gasoline-powered cars, currently 85 percent of its sales, by 2050.

Without offering a breakdown, the company said gas-electric hybrid-powered cars, as well as plug-in electric hybrids, full electric cars and fuel cell-powered vehicles will account for the majority of its worldwide production. Currently, about 86 percent of Toyota's sales use fossil fuel-burning engines.

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"It wouldn't be easy for gasoline and diesel cars to survive [in 2050]," Kiyotaka Isa, senior managing officer, said in Tokyo on Wednesday. "With such massive decline in engine-powered cars, it's like the world is turning upside down and Toyota has to change its ways."

The company's vision includes a heavy reliance on hybrids and fuel cells, and it expects to sell 30,000 examples of a new model, the hydrogen-powered Mirai, by 2020.

Nissan, a competitor, is focusing on electric cars for its future; Volkswagen and other German automakers are concentrating on plug-in hybrids. Toyota also announced its plans to cut carbon-dioxide emissions by more than 22 percent from its 2010 global average, and hopes to raise that figure to 90 percent by 2030.

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The go-green strategy comes as Toyota has recently posted record profits, in part because of sales in the United States of sport utility vehicles with unimpressive gas mileage ratings, a benefit of low gas prices.

The company added it intends to sell about 7 million gas-electric hybrid vehicles, worldwide, in the next five years. It has sold about 8 million in the past 18 years.

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