Ten years ago, in June 2009, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) made the big gamble by introducing to the Philippines the hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), the second-generation Toyota Prius. Back then, the local market was still very much unaware of what an HEV really was for. Thus, there was still no compelling reason for local motorists to buy a hybrid.
But now, a decade later, the impact of global climate change has been undeniably felt, and climate scientists around the world have pinned the blame on the transport industry and its insatiable appetite for fossil fuels as among the human activities most responsible for hastening this phenomenon.
Since 2009, many other car manufacturers introduced their own versions of HEVs or full-electric vehicles in the country. And now that Filipinos are much more aware of hybrid vehicles and their purpose, the Prius stands as a prime example of Toyota’s foresight and proactive stance in promoting a sustainable and environment-friendly motoring.
On the morning of May 29, TMP held its first Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technology Conference in the Philippines at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Bonifacio Global City.
Executives of Toyota Motor Corporation from Japan, Singapore, and Thailand joined their counterparts from TMP, and other concerned organizations, for a series of presentations and talks, revealing the exciting future of HEVs worldwide and in the Philippines.
Speakers for this conference included:
- Dr. David Go, Senior Executive Vice President, Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation
- Dr. Rafaelita M. Aldaba, Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation Department of Trade and Industry, “Policy Directions for Next Generation Vehicles/xEV”
- Vicente S. Socco, Executive Vice President, Toyota Motor Asia Pacific, “Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050: Toyota’s Commitment to Environment & Sustainable Mobility”
- Satoru Suzuki, President, Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation, “Sustainable Mobility in the Philippines: Role of Hybrid Electric Vehicles”
- Yukio Yoshida, Vice President, Toyota Daihatsu Engineering & Manufacturing, “Toyota’s Hybrid Electric Technology”
- Atty. Glynda Bathan, Deputy Executive Director, Clean Air Asia, “Promoting Low Carbon Transportation in the Philippines”
With the theme “Toward Sustainable Mobility”, the Toyota HEV Technology Conference placed the spotlight on the role of Toyota’s products, processes and operations worldwide in going beyond zero-CO2 emissions and achieving as well a net positive contribution to the reduction of harmful greenhouse gases by 2050, as laid out in the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 (TEC 2050).
We at TessDrive can’t stop imagining, however, how Toyota’s all-out efforts toward sustainable mobility could resonate even more powerfully if a plant-based diet and lifestyle were adopted by the millions of Toyota owners and drivers worldwide.
Toyota is one of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers, selling more than 10 million vehicles per year since 2012. Imagine, if just 15 million Toyota drivers/owners went without meat for just one day, that would be equivalent to 150,412 trees planted and grown for 10 years. That would have prevented carbon dioxide emissions from 2,489,404 liters of gasoline or 177,941.57 LPG tanks, 1,150 passenger vehicles off the streets for a year, and produced 23.79 carbon emission reduction credits in a day in the Ambuklao Dam. Overall, this would have reduced 5,866,068.516 kg of carbon dioxide. And then, imagine some more if all these 15 million Toyota drivers/owners drove a Prius…
By going on a plant-based diet, and then using transport that runs on as little greenhouse-gas emitting fossil fuels as possible, we would immediately address the two industries contributing the most to destructive climate change: The automotive industry and the livestock industry (which includes poultry, dairy, and fishing).
Livestock raising as an environmentally destructive practice that significantly contributes to climate change is not a figment of the imagination. Studies have shown that livestock produces somewhere between 20 and 50% of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists have discovered that, more than the transport industry, what humans have been eating especially for the last century or so has had an even bigger impact on our environment. The billions upon billions of meat, fish, poultry and dairy products that people eat everyday has forced its producers to drastically alter the environment just to meet the demand for animal products. Vast portions of land have been dedicated to raise livestock, while commercial agriculture has cleared about two-thirds of the world’s forests.
With the HEV Technology Conference, TMP shows it has taken serious, calculated steps in including the Philippine market to help achieve the goals set in its TEC 2050.
We at TessDrive urge the public to “match” TMC and TMP’s efforts. Even if you can’t afford to buy a Prius or any HEV just yet, you can still make a big positive impact on the only planet we can live on. Look for alternative sources of fuel for your body. Go on a plant-based diet. There are now so many options available in the market. With just a click or a tap, online searches can yield so many results for great-tasting, locally sourced vegan fare that’s near you.
And if you can already afford to buy a decent car, go and buy a Prius (choose the faux or false leather or fabric seating material so no innocent cow will have to give up its life just to keep you comfortable on your butt), and then go on a plant-based diet and lifestyle. You carbon footprint will be so small, it would seem like you were floating on air. Well, in a manner of speaking, you’re one weight off Mother Nature’s shoulders.