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Clinging to “the undead”?

When looking at the shift of the world car industry today, it is hard not to realize that the majority of car manufacturers in the world are moving closer to electric cars. In a Forbes article from 2018 writer Tom Raftery also asserted that the era of the internal combustion engine is over, electric cars are the future. This writer also does not hesitate to call the engine block that the car industry has taken hundreds of years to develop and improve as a zombie.

The root of this shift can be seen in the government apparatus when many countries and regions have set out a roadmap to ban the sale of car models using internal combustion engines.

However, some car manufacturers around the world still seem to have slow steps towards electric vehicles. One of the recognized car manufacturers can include Toyota, especially when recently, the company announced an investment of up to nearly 400 million USD for the internal combustion engine.


Toyota's $400 million US handshake: Clinging to zombies?  - Photo 1.

Inside Toyota’s factory in Alabama, USA.

Specifically, information on Carbuzz said that Toyota will invest $ 383 million for its 4 factories in the US, respectively located in Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee. This investment is said to target the production of the 4-cylinder engine block used in both Toyota and Lexus logo models.

However, it should also be mentioned that the engine block that Toyota produces is an electric hybrid, which is partially supported by an electric motor, thereby helping the engine block to consume better fuel.

Quoting Toyota’s Vice President of Manufacturing and Engineering, Norm Bafunno, “Toyota customers want fuel-efficient and electrified vehicles. […] These investments will help us respond to our customers’ needs and adapt more quickly to market flows. We’re committed to investing in America, and now we’re ready to take on new challenges.”

Toyota's $400 million US handshake: Clinging to zombies?  - Photo 2.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is one of the Toyota models produced in the US.

With this investment of nearly 400 million USD, Toyota’s factory in Alabama, USA will first be equipped with an additional line to produce a new 4-cylinder engine block, helping Toyota to produce more models. using traditional internal combustion engines and models using hybrid electric powertrains. It is known that this factory was built by Toyota in 2003 and has invested a total of about 1.5 billion USD so far.

Next, the factory in Kentucky will also be expanded. Since its construction, the factory in Kentucky is Toyota’s largest factory in the world, responsible for producing up to 7 Toyota and Lexus logo models, including the Lexus ES Hybrid, Toyota Camry and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. To date, Toyota has invested about $8.5 billion in the Kentucky economy.

With the factory in Missouri, this plant will be equipped to produce cylinder heads for 4-cylinder engine blocks. To date, Toyota has invested USD 564 million for this plant, which currently has a capacity of about 3 million cylinder caps per year.

Finally, the plant in Tennessee was equipped to manufacture the body. The factory can now produce 2 million body parts per year, equivalent to Toyota’s total investment of $425 million.

According to Toyota data, it now makes half of the cars sold in the United States.

Toyota's $400 million US handshake: Clinging to zombies?  - Photo 4.

Toyota Mirai is one of the rare models on the market that uses hydrogen energy.

In fact, Toyota’s slowness with electric vehicles is not surprising when the company seems to be more interested in hydrogen power. Until now, Toyota Mirai model is one of the rare commercial vehicles on the market using hydrogen energy.

However, this model is only sold by Toyota in a limited area, for example, in the US, only the state of California can distribute this model. The reason can be given because the investment cost for a hydrogen fuel station is very large, accompanied by many safety and technical standards.

In addition to California, the US, Toyota also sells this model in other countries such as India, France, Japan…

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