Three carbon-neutral Toyota prototype cars complete Thai endurance race

By CARSIFU | 26 December 2023

BURIRAM (Thailand): In Toyota's mission of making ever-better cars through motorsports, three prototype cars running on renewable fuels, entered by Rookie Racing, successfully completed a 10-hour duel of endurance at the recent Idemitsu Super Endurance Southeast Asia Trophy 2023.

Rookie Racing is Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda's privateer team, which had joined the race with three cars, namely the hybrid Prius GR and GR86 concepts, both using carbon-neutral (CN) fuel derived from renewable bio-fuel and hydrogen, as well as a hydrogen-powered GR Corolla H2.

It's worth noting that the GR Corolla H2 was powered by liquid hydrogen, produced using chicken manure-generated biogas from poultry farms owned by Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group as well as food waste processed by Toyota Daihatsu Engineering and Manufacturing Co (TDEM) in Bangkok.

The CP Group is among Toyota's partners in Thailand that are working together to achieve a carbon-neutral society.

The race, also called the Thailand 10-hour Endurance Race, was held on December 22 and 23, 2023 at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram.

CP Group executive board member Kachorn Chiaravanont (left) and Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda posing for photos after the race.
CP Group executive board member Kachorn Chiaravanont (left) and Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda posing for photos after the race.

In a statement, Toyota said the race and its accompanying events such as fan appreciation showcases, had marked a major step toward achieving carbon neutrality and “Fun to Drive” cars through motorsports.

Prior to the Thailand 10-hour Endurance Race, Toyota had held a GR Festival 2023 on December 19 in Bangkok, which attracted 2,500 fans and featured drivers from Rookie Racing, Toyota Gazoo Racing Team Thailand, and D1 who dazzled the crowds with team performances, time attacks, and a drift show.

Toyoda, who was racing under his pseudonym Morizo, said by participating in the race, the Japanese automaker aims to show that hydrogen-powered cars and hybrids can be carbon-neutral options.

"Despite some trouble, we were able to complete the race. In addition to the hydrogen engine, which raced for the second year, I had the impression that the Prius and hybrid cars were well received by the Thai people this year," he said.

Toyoda pointed out that the Toyota and CP Group collaboration can reduce CO2 emissions in Thailand by leveraging both groups' respective areas of expertise.

"It is difficult for a single company to create a carbon-neutral movement and the future of mobility alone. People who produce, transport, and use energy as well as the people who make cars; I believe that if many people cooperate and take action, the number of like-minded partners will increase, and the landscape of the future will definitely change," he said.

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ORC ROOKIE GR Corolla H2 concept