Japan is also creating a special fund of $19 billion for investment in research for renewable energy sources, with the aim of attracting private investment in the sector.
According to data from the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association, fewer than 30 % of the total number of vehicles on the road are hybrid or electric cars. And Japanese models are well known world-wide – for instance, the hybrid Toyota Prius is quite popular in North America.
Japanese companies are among the world’s most popular in this sector and the decision on petrol-powered cars is bound to intensify competition in terms of technology.
The Boston Consulting Group forecasts that the share of electric vehicles in Japan could rise to 55 % within a decade. Key factors influencing the growth in demand for electric vehicles include not only measures to limit use of cars with internal combustion engines and support for electric cars, but also a faster than expected decline in prices for batteries and energy storage devices.
Japan earlier announced plans to achieve carbon-neutral status by 2050. European Union member-states, China and South Korea have also announced their intention to halt emissions by specific deadlines. A number of U.S. states, Britain, Canada, Norway and Germany also plan to introduce limitations on the use of cars powered by fossil fuels. The European union is due soon to take a similar decision.