Toyota says the internal combustion engine's days are numbered and that today's most common automotive power source will no longer exist by 2050.
The pronouncement comes from the company's advanced research and development boss, Seigo Kuzumaki, who told the U.K.'s Autocar that tightening emissions regulations and advancements in electric vehicle development will hasten the combustion engine's demise.
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Kuzumaki said that by that year, carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles will be 90 percent lower than in 2010, and that from 2040, the only combustion engines available will be in hybrid or plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) vehicles.
It's an interesting pronouncement from a company has staked much of its reputation on hybrid powertrains -- globally, Toyota sells 43 per cent of all electrified vehicles -- but isn't planning on launching a global pure electric vehicle until 2020. That neatly coincides with the company's early-2020s plan to bring to market solid state batteries that it says will be smaller, safer and more energy dense than the lithium-ion batteries that power many hybrids and electrics on the road today.
Toyota's prediction aligns with announcements by a number of European jurisdictions planning to ban the sale of combustion-only vehicles between now and 2040.