If one day it happens and the cars as we know them today disappear and are replaced by a new form of transportation that doesn’t have wheels resting on the ground, the decades from 2010 to 2030 can probably be described as the time of greatest change. , of bold inventions, of truncated projects, but especially of greater uncertainty than ever before in such a short time.
Some historian will say that “At this time it was that technology seemed to be on the opposite side of caring for the environment, and in the middle, instead of a street, what happened was a timelinethat he had to cross that point and come out unscathed, because time does not stand still. The car factories were on the side of technology, politicians on the side of fear of climate changeresponding to the need to provide a solution to the concern of society. And so several years passed, decades in fact, until technology stopped being on the sidewalk across the street, and became part of the solution. But in the meantime They were difficult years.”
This introduction is valid for any note that can be written in these years, every time a new technology appears, which raises the usual question: in which direction will the car industry go?
Just a year ago, war was declared against internal combustion engines and almost everyone involved was betting solely on electric cars. Some were left with the idea of continuing to experiment with new modes of sustainable propulsion that did not depend on fossil fuels, but most made the decision to invest billions in converting to electricity.
Japan, as a country that does not have large areas to install wind or solar farms, nor large areas to convert rivers into hydroelectric dams, is a country with a very high energy potential, but already at levels close to the maximum possible. For this reason, they maintain other alternatives to replace oil as a means of transportation, because supplying the entire car fleet of the future with electricity could be very expensive and difficult to specify. It is precisely in Japan where it is developing a turbine system that works by action of ocean currentsfor example, as a mode of electricity generation.
Toyota, as the world market leader in automobiles from Japan, has had the same philosophy, and while Europe has been fighting the diesel engine for a decade now, For them, it continues to be a useful technology that they use throughout their fleet of heavy vehicles and pickups.
But since the thought is still that of ensure that oil is replaced and not the internal combustion system of the engines of the futureas well as experiment with gaseous hydrogen injected directly into the combustion chamberThey also do it with a new fuel of plant origin, which can replace diesel and improve your performance even more in a short time.
Even more interesting is knowing that this fuel is not of Japanese origin, but Scandinavian. It’s called HVO100 and it’s produced by Neste in Finland. It’s about a fuel of fundamentally vegetable origin, since it is made from raw materials 100% renewable such as vegetable oil from palm, rapeseed and recycled waste such as used cooking oil that do not add carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere but return it. How is this? Very simple. The plants from which HVO100 is produced have already trapped CO2 during their previous life through photosynthesis. Now, when burned in a combustion engine, they generate CO2 emissions, but if their origin is taken into account, in reality, more than an emission that adds up, it is an emission that returns CO2 to the atmosphere. That is why it is said to be neutral, because its emissions are 90% lower than those that would be produced with conventional diesel.
But in addition, HVO100 has an ignition index between 70 and 90, while fossil diesel fuels have an index between 50 and 60. Therefore, in addition to being neutral, it manages to increase engine performance.
This plant-based synthetic fuel has been in use for three years, mostly in Sweden and Finland, where there are more than 200 points of sale. Until now, it had been mainly applied in truck diesel engines, where great performance was obtained. Now through the plans Toyota, for the first time there will be a brand of massive light vehicles, which will adopt it and prepare its models so that they leave the factory ready to use.
And this is because, Due to its lower density, HVO100 requires minimal technical adjustment work on vehicles, which consists of correcting the injection parametersin order to allow a greater inlet flow to the combustion chamber.
Toyota estimates that The first Toyota Hilux and Toyota Land Cruiser that will be able to use this fuel with this modification in their injection mapping, will leave the production line in the first quarter of 2023. With this, the bet is clearly to keep internal combustion engines alive diesel beyond the year 2035.
Something, in which, once again, technology and politics, will have to be located on the same pathat the side of the timeline through which the global automotive industry is passing.