Section 3. Responding to Emissions Controls
Item 2. Measures to Reduce Emissions
Toyota's measures concerning emissions began with responses to the California crankcase emissions regulations in 1962. Toyota determined in 1964 that emissions controls would be a major issue for the company in the future, and the Emissions Controls Group was formed within the then Engine Section No. 3 of the Engineering Department No. 1 and basic research on emissions measures started. A project team was launched in 1965.
Acquisition of certification under the CO regulations began in Japan in 1966, and Toyota acquired certification from the California state government that year as well. In April 1967, Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. became the first company to obtain certification from the U.S. government under the regulations it issued in 1968.1
In 1968, Toyota built the Emissions Testing Building at the Higashi-Fuji Proving Ground (now the Higashi-Fuji Technical Center), and the Advanced Research Group of the Emissions Project Team was transferred from the Toyota Head Office in Toyota City to the testing facility. Early development of thermal reactors2, catalysts, exhaust gas recirculation systems3, afterburners, and other technologies as well as research on combustion control started. The work of developing vehicles that satisfied the emissions regulations for each year was conducted through cooperation between the Higashi-Fuji Proving Ground and the Engineering Department at the Head Office.
In July 1970, the Development Planning Department was established so that company-wide emissions controls efforts could be carried out in a concentrated way. The Engineering Department No. 4 at the Head Office and the Engineering Department No. 8 at the Higashi-Fuji facility were put in charge of emissions controls R&D and testing with support from other related engineering departments. The Development Planning Department was responsible for managing and promoting the development project as a whole.
The Higashi-Fuji Technical Center4 was established in February 1971 to reinforce research and development systems. That March, the Emissions Testing Building was added to develop and test the compliance of emissions reduction devices, followed in November by the No. 3 Building, which, as a basic research facility for investigating emissions measures, comprised the Testing Department, Engineering Service Department, and Computer Department. Also, a bench-testing building equipped with chassis dynamometer5 automated operating equipment using minicomputers was completed in January 1973.
In response to the reinforcement of the Higashi-Fuji Technical Center, strengthening of the Engineering Department at the Head Office also proceeded at a rapid pace. Taking the expansion of the engine testing facility as an example, the Engineering Building No. 6 with an engine testing room was completed in 1971, the Engineering Building No. 7 with chassis dynamometers was completed in 1973, the Engineering Building No. 7 B was completed in 1974, and the Engineering Building No. 9 was completed in December 1977. The Engineering Department's site, which had primarily consisted of wide-open spaces centered on a test track, began to vastly change its appearance, with numerous buildings lined up one after another. Capital investment in pollution measures for engines and other components increased rapidly during this period.6
The number of personnel involved in emissions controls grew at a rapid pace every year, rising from 519 in 1970 to 1,870 in 1974. Similarly, emissions controls R&D expenditures grew from 2.8 billion yen in 1970 to 18.8 billion yen in 1974.