Japan could bid sayonara to combustion vehicles before 2040

Updated Dec 05, 2020 | Same topic: Automotive Industry Updates

The goal is to achieve zero net carbon emissions by the year 2050.

To many Filipinos, Japan is an undisputed benchmark when it comes to cars. Automakers from the Land of the Rising Sun are often top of mind for customers looking for vehicles that are robust, sophisticated, and reliable, at a relatively affordable price point.

While almost every iconic automobile from Japan that we know of has come with an internal combustion engine, that may soon change. A ban on new combustion vehicle sales in the country is looming in favor of hybrids and electric vehicles, and could take effect in the mid-2030s.

The move is in response to calls for more drastic action in reversing the effects of global climate change, and ranks Japan among a growing list of countries that have committed to cease combustion vehicle sales altogether. The earliest to implement this will be Norway, which seeks to ban sales of fossil fuel vehicles, both new and old, by 2025.   

Electric car gauge

This will pave the way for hybrids and electric vehicles

>>> Related: 10 reasons to buy Japanese cars instead of American

In a report by Reuters, the announcement is consistent with Japan’s plan to achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2050, as pledged by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in October. This makes Japan the second G7 country to set a deadline on gasoline vehicle phaseout, after the United Kingdom’s ban on all combustion-powered cars by 2030.

In a news conference, chief government spokesman Katsunobu Kato said that Japan’s industry ministry will come up with a concrete plan by the end of 2020. This puts major Japanese automakers at an advantage, particularly those who already have a head start in electric vehicle technology.

Toyota Prius

Carmakers who have invested in electric vehicle technology are at an advantage 

Among Asian countries, Japan, China, and South Korea have all recently announced targets to completely cut off net carbon emissions. Canada, Norway, Germany, and parts of the United States will also implement a partial or total ban, while the European Union will decide on future restrictions this month.

Get more industry updates at Philkotse.com.

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo


Joseph has been a member of various car clubs since he got his driver's license in 2004 – old enough to remember riding in taxicabs with analog meters, but his fascination with cars goes way back. After nearly two decades of working in broadcast media, he shifted gears by coming on board as Philkotse’s first Filipino member and staff writer in 2017.

Apart from his role in Philkotse as Content Team Lead, Joseph has written episodes for Drive, which has been airing on CNN Philippines for five seasons running. He has also delivered content for various car dealerships based in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Jeep, Dodge, among others.

Keeping his hopes high and his revs low, he dreams about owning a Kei car when he retires. Hates slow parkers.

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