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Car and Driver: Toyota Switching to Biosynthetic Rubber for Some Underhood Hoses


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As part of a stated effort to cut its vehicle life-cycle carbon-dioxide emissions to zero by the year 2050, Toyota has announced its intention to use an environmentally friendly biosynthetic rubber for the engine and drive-system hoses on a number of its cars and trucks.

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Called biohydrin, the plant-derived material is the result of a collaborative effort between Toyota, Zeon Corporation, and Sumitomo Riko Co., Ltd. The material will be used in place of current petroleum-based rubber components. In switching to biohydrin rubber, Toyota anticipates the material life-cycle carbon emissions of its hoses will be reduced by approximately 20 percent.

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Meanwhile, thanks to biohydrin’s molecular compound, Toyota promises that its new, “green” hoses are able to withstand the oil and heat resistance necessary to ensure a long service life. In fact, Toyota is so confident in the material’s durability and mass producibility that it eventually plans to use biohydrin rubber in its vehicles’ brake- and fuel-line hoses, as well.

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The first Toyotas to use biohydrin rubber for engine and drive-system hoses will begin production in May, with more widespread usage of the material in those pieces expected to make its way to all Japanese-manufactured Toyota cars and trucks by the end of the year. Vehicles that the company manufactures in Japan include the Toyota Prius and a number of Lexus models, among others.

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