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.
"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."
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.
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.