METI to set 60% renewable energy target for auto manufacturing

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Cars are assembled at Toyota Motor Kyushu, Inc.’s plant in Fukuoka Prefecture in November 2021.

The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry is aiming to have the auto industry use renewable-sourced electricity for about 60% of its energy consumption by fiscal 2030. The target is based on the revised Law on Rational Use of Energy, which will come into effect next April. The ministry plans to present the target ratio at a soon-to-be-held meeting of experts, with an eye to accelerating corporate efforts to decarbonize the industry.

Automobile manufacturers use large amounts of electricity in such manufacturing processes as pressing automotive parts and assembling vehicles. Currently, a large share of this power is generated from fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. The ministry plans to set a goal of increasing the share of this electricity generated from nonfossil sources, such as solar and nuclear power, to 59% by fiscal 2030.

The law obligates the 12,000 or so companies that use more than 1,500 kiloliters of crude oil equivalent per year to set their own targets for the ratio of nonfossil energy in their energy mix for fiscal 2030. The ministry will first present the target for the industry, and then encourage companies to take action in line with the target.