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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.


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.


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.


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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