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Driving Decarbonization in America - No Mention of Ethanol, Today's Actual Solution WTF?


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NEW YORK, June 12, 2024 -- The unmistakable futuristic hum from passing vehicles on the road signals a new era in transportation and mobility. The automotive industry is transforming with new ownership models, cutting-edge connectivity, and innovative advanced electrified powertrains.

But with change, comes questions: why are automakers focusing so much on electrified powertrains? What does this shift, marked by the futuristic hum, really mean for consumers, and is this transformation really necessary?

At the core, it comes down to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. CO2 is essential to life on earth, but too much poses a threat. When in balance, CO2 helps keep planet Earth warm enough to sustain life; however, an imbalance can lead to a much warmer average temperature, which can lead to bringing forward the predicted results of climate change.

But where does this excess CO2 come from? Natural sources make up the majority of CO2 released into the atmosphere: Oceans, animal and plant respiration, organic matter decomposition, forest fires, and emissions from volcanic eruptions.

Another contributor to CO2 emissions is human activity, including power generation, industrial sources, chemical production, agricultural practices, and transportation. Of all sectors, transportation accounts for the largest percentage of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States, coming in at 28%. Between 1990 and 2021r, GHG emissions within the transportation sector, including carbon dioxide, increased more than any other human-based activity. Science has shown that CO2 is a contributing factor to climate change, and, as such, efforts by governments, companies, and individuals to reduce or eliminate CO2 emissions are gaining momentum. After all, CO2 emissions can remain in the atmosphere for hundreds of years, and the impact of emissions in one region can be felt globally.

As automobile tailpipes are prevalently visible by so many people each day, transportation, especially the automotive industry, has become a focal point. Fortunately, various solutions are being deployed: regulations, incentives, innovative products, technologies, and services are converging to combat CO2.

To explore these critical topics, a compelling three-part video series, Driving Decarbonization in America, has been produced by Bader Media Group, funded by Toyota. Hosted by Ross Butler with field reporting from Neka Zang and Ariana Cohen, the series immerses viewers in the world of CO2 emissions and what is being done in the automotive industry. Examining what carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases are, the series delves into the relentless drive to reduce or eliminate CO2 from new vehicles. By exploring the various vehicle types, powertrains, and technologies that have shaped – and continue to shape – the industry landscape, viewers are taken on a dynamic journey that spans past, present, and future innovations in sustainable mobility.

Providing a rare glimpse into the automakers' perspective, the series' hosts speak with the world's largest manufacturer, Toyota, providing an in-depth look at their multi-pathway approach to vehicles and technology, alongside other companies dedicated to driving decarbonization.

The series will air on MotorTrend TV with availability on the DISCOVERY GO App and DISCOVERY+ Streaming. The world premiere of the episodes will be:

Episode 1

June 17, 2024

5:00 PM – 5:30 PM (ET/PT)

Episode 2

July 19, 2024

5:00 PM – 5:30 PM (ET/PT)

Episode 3

August 26, 2024

5:00 PM – 5:30 PM (ET/PT)

All Three Episodes

August 31, 2024

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM (ET/PT)

In the series, viewers will learn:

From Subject Matter Experts:
The series will provide viewers with valuable knowledge shared by industry analysts, researchers, engineers, thinktanks, and company executives. These experts will discuss the significance of carbon dioxide emissions and how combined efforts are driving decarbonization.

Vehicle Electrification:
A portfolio of low- and zero-emission vehicles are currently available and are helping reduce CO2 emissions today. Hybrid, plug-in hybrid, fuel cell and battery electric vehicles will be discussed, shedding light on how choices can help consumers find a way to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions.

Automotive Batteries:
The push towards electrification means more automotive batteries. While having more battery electric vehicles on the road may mean less tailpipe-emissions, what about other sources of emissions? Are we just shifting CO2 emissions from the tailpipe to somewhere else? Innovations in battery recycling and ways to optimize supply chain logistics will be key to this growing area.

Existing Vehicles:
There is a significant emphasis on new vehicles and their emissions, but what about the vehicles that are not electrified? Even with the most optimistic projections indicating that 50% or more of new vehicle sales in the United States will be battery electric by 2032, the fact remains that a large portion of vehicles on the road will still have internal combustion engines, meaning they may still emit carbon dioxide. If reducing carbon is so important and a priority, is there a solution that can help reduce CO2 emissions from these and other legacy vehicles?

Utility/energy systems:
Electric vehicles also bring with them the possibility of bidirectional charging, where electricity can be taken off the grid to charge the batteries, but also flow the other way. But when is the best time to charge, and is the electricity being used coming from renewable energy sources? How can vehicles become a tool for utility companies to help make the overall energy grid more resilient?

Join us as we follow Ross' journey as he explores the increasingly important topics of the future of transportation and CO2 emissions through this three-part series this summer.

About Toyota
Toyota has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. for more than 65 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands, plus our nearly 1,500 dealerships. 

Toyota directly employs more than 49,000 people in the U.S. who have contributed to the design, engineering, and assembly of more than 34 million cars and trucks at our nine manufacturing plants. By 2025, Toyota's 10th plant in North Carolina will begin to manufacture automotive batteries for electrified vehicles. With more electrified vehicles on the road than any other automaker, Toyota currently offers 29 electrified options.

Through its Driving Possibilities initiative, the Toyota USA Foundation has committed to creating innovative educational programs within, and in partnership with, historically underserved and diverse communities near the company's U.S. operating sites.

For more information about Toyota, visit

Toyota Media Contact:
Aaron Fowles
[email protected]  

Olivia Boisineau-Beckett
[email protected] 

SOURCE Toyota Motor North America