TechToyota and GAC unveil ammonia engine: The end of electric cars?

Toyota and GAC unveil ammonia engine: The end of electric cars?

New type of engine
New type of engine
Images source: © Licensor |
Robert Kędzierski

15 June 2024 16:27

Toyota's research division and the Chinese automotive company GAC Group have worked for years on developing an ammonia-powered engine that could be an alternative to electric propulsion. Will electric cars become a thing of the past thanks to this invention?

Experts emphasize that Toyota's management has long indicated the necessity of striving for emission reductions most efficiently, rather than becoming unwavering advocates of electrification at all costs. To this end, the Japanese company, in collaboration with the Chinese conglomerate Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC Group), has already invested £4.8 billion in efforts to implement ammonia combustion engine technology for mass production.

A new type of engine. Are electric cars being replaced?

The prototype of such an engine, unveiled in 2023, prompted Toyota President Koji Sato to declare, "Our Ammonia Engine Is The End Of EV's". Experts note this is a bold statement, but it wasn't made lightly, as work on this technology continues.

The technology has potential downsides. One of the main advantages of ammonia-powered engines is the ability to adapt existing car models without fundamentally changing their design. It only requires adjusting the engines to burn this fuel, which poses a challenge, including achieving a high compression ratio of the fuel-air mixture.

Electric cars gaining popularity

Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular. China is the largest producer of these vehicles. In 2023, global exports in this segment surged by 70%, reaching a value of £27 billion. The European Union accounts for nearly 40% of China's electric vehicle exports, making it its largest importer.

In 2023, one in four electric cars sold in the European Union came from China. Experts cited by the agency indicate that the persistent trade deficit of the EU with China, exceeding approximately £320 billion annually, is mainly due to unequal mutual market access and Beijing's unfair practices, including extensive government subsidies.

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