information quality – Tune Yokohama Mon, 24 Jan 2022 13:41:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 information quality – Tune Yokohama 32 32 Toyota steps up a gear with major investment in electric vehicles Tue, 14 Dec 2021 08:00:00 +0000

Toyota Motor Corp. on Tuesday announced its goal of selling 3.5 million electric vehicles per year worldwide by 2030, as part of its plan to boost its campaign for carbon neutrality.

Toyota said it will also increase investment in battery development to 2 trillion yen ($18 billion) from the 1.5 trillion yen previously announced and launch 30 electric vehicle models globally by 2030, President Akio Toyoda said during a press briefing.

With this announcement, Japan’s largest automaker is doubling the number of new electric vehicle models: the previous plan offered 15 models by 2025.

“The energy situation differs from region to region. Therefore, Toyota wants to meet the situation and needs of different countries and regions by providing various choices in terms of carbon neutrality,” said Toyoda.

The company had said earlier that of the 8 million electrified cars it aims to sell by 2030, 2 million will be battery electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles.

For the new range of 30 electric vehicle models, Toyota will invest 4 trillion yen by 2030. This would be part of an overall investment of 8 trillion yen in electrified vehicles, including hybrid and hydrogen vehicles , by the end of the decade, the company said. .

Electric vehicles still make up only a small share of car sales, but the market is growing rapidly, with new registrations up 41% in 2020 even as the global car market has contracted by a sixth this that year.

In November, Toyota refused to join a pledge signed by six major automakers, including General Motors and Ford Motor Co., to phase out fossil fuel cars by 2040. It argued that all regions of the world would not be ready to switch to green cars. by then.

In addition to battery electric vehicles, Toyota is also building hydrogen fuel cell cars and developing hydrogen-powered internal combustion engines, although it did not say when it might commercialize the technology.

The company has accelerated its efforts to further electrify its lineup in recent months. Toyota recently pledged it would be ready to sell only zero-emission cars in Europe by 2035, aligning itself with European Union Green Deal measures proposed earlier this year. Once considered a laggard in the United States, the automaker grabbed headlines earlier this year with its plans for electric vehicles.

Even so, Toyota expects US demand for its gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles to increase over the next decade. By 2030, Toyota sees hybrids representing just over half of the vehicles it sells in the United States. Zero-emission electric vehicles and hydrogen cars are expected to account for 15% of sales, the automaker said in a briefing earlier this year.

On Dec. 6, Toyota announced it would open its first U.S. battery plant at a mega-site in North Carolina, joining an industry-wide push as automakers ramp up efforts to electrify their fleets. Production at the plant is expected to start in 2025.

Toyota’s push into electric vehicles comes as rivals have made aggressive pledges to electrify their lineups and build infrastructure to manufacture vehicle batteries. President Joe Biden challenged the industry in August to make half of all vehicles sold in the United States emission-free by the end of the decade.

Toyota’s battery plant will be the main tenant of an industrial park called the Greensboro-Randolph Mega-site, an 1,825-acre parcel of land in central North Carolina that has been rezoned for heavy industry. The plant will create approximately 1,750 new jobs there. The automaker said the North Carolina site will initially have the capacity to build enough lithium-ion batteries for 800,000 vehicles a year across four production lines.

The automaker said it will commit to using 100% renewable energy at the plant, which will be known as Toyota Battery Manufacturing, in North Carolina. It joins 10 other non-union plants that Toyota currently operates in the United States.

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]]> Convenience stores and restaurants cut chicken dishes due to shortage Tue, 23 Nov 2021 08:00:00 +0000

Food products containing processed chicken, such as karaage fried chicken, are rare in some convenience stores and family restaurants in Japan, with production halted in Thailand since around summer amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Large chains of convenience stores and family restaurants are adjusting the volume of products on sale to deal with shortages as high demand approaches around Christmas.

Convenience store industry leader Seven-Eleven Japan Co. has struggled to source Thai-made “karaagebo” and “nanachiki” products. The company has reduced supplies in some areas so that products will be available to customers again as usual around Christmas, a spokesperson said.

FamilyMart Co. has reduced supply of its “Famichiki” across the country and expects to be able to sell sufficient quantities of the product by mid-December.

Frozen food for households is also scarce.

Since early October, Ajinomoto Frozen Foods Co. has faced shortages of six products, including “karaage”, produced at its factory in Thailand. The factory has now resumed normal operations, which should see the company resume normal sales by the end of November, company officials said.

Among restaurateurs, Saizeriya Co. is experiencing chicken wing shortages. It reduced the number of “chicken karami” pieces from five to four per dish without changing the price, with no prospect of restoring the portion size to normal, company officials said. Makoto Tani, chairman and president of Skylark Holdings Co., said companies are competing to source chicken from Brazil, a major exporter.

In contrast, major convenience store chain Lawson Inc. uses domestic chicken for its “karaagekun,” as does Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan Ltd. for its products, so they did not suffer from supply shortages.

An official from the Meat and Egg Division of the Ministry of Agriculture said, “The spread of coronavirus infections in Thailand is affecting (Japanese companies) with a time lag.”

The official fears the situation could get serious as bird flu outbreaks hit Japan at a time when domestic chicken prices are rising.

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]]> Japanese restaurants see slow recovery two weeks after COVID-19 restrictions lifted Sun, 07 Nov 2021 07:00:00 +0000

Two weeks after five prefectures, including Tokyo and Osaka, lifted their requests for dining establishments to shorten opening hours, customers are still not returning in large numbers to restaurants and bars.

Customer numbers “remain below levels before new coronavirus infections began to spread,” an industry official said.

Still, there are signs that diners are slowly returning.

According to restaurant reservation website operator Gurunavi Inc., the number of online restaurant and bar reservations in October increased 2.4 times from September, when many prefectures were under a state of emergency. COVID-19.

Many users have made reservations for smaller groups and reservations are increasing, especially after requests for shorter hours were lifted on Oct. 25, a Gurunavi official said.

However, izakaya pubs are still facing challenges as many people are now working from home and therefore have fewer opportunities to go out.

Watami Co. has restarted operations at all of its izakaya pubs, but most of them now close at 11 p.m.

The number of customers “falls sharply after 8 p.m.,” said President Miki Watanabe.

The number of diners at family restaurants is increasing, but business stops after 9 p.m., people in the industry have said.

Restaurants and bars are also struggling to find employees.

After the virus started spreading in the country last year, many part-time workers in the industry quit their jobs.

Last month, the number of part-time jobs available rose in nearly every category of the restaurant and bar industry, according to employment information provider Mynavi Corp.

The rise was particularly pronounced for izakaya and bars, which quadrupled in the past week.

Even though the number of applicants is increasing, “the pace has not matched the growth rate of available jobs,” said a Mynavi official.

Restaurants and bars are trying to secure workers, including lending and borrowing staff between their establishments.

However, the situation is “tough especially in the city centers, where many students were working”, said a manager of a large restaurateur.

“We have a sense of crisis as job applications have been declining since the summer,” said a manager at a large chain of family restaurants.

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]]> Zero-emission vehicles and renewables will take off, says climate policy report Mon, 18 Oct 2021 07:00:00 +0000

Government policy changes tackling global warming could result in zero-emission vehicles accounting for around 30% of all vehicles on the road by 2030, and wind and solar providing 30% of global production of electricity, tripling current levels, according to a policy report due Monday.

Rapid changes in food and land-use systems would also play a ‘critical role’, with ‘peak meat’ consumption around 2030 helping the world’s land absorb more carbon within 30 years, according to the report of the Principles for Responsible Investment, supported by the United Nations, a leading sustainable investment body.

In its “forward policy scenario”, considered the most likely, the report predicted “dramatic” and “radical” changes in policy by 2025 in the energy, transport, industry and food.

Such policy acceleration would keep warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by mid-century, he said.

However, the global goal of limiting warming to no more than 1.5C would be out of reach without faster action, according to the report, released ahead of next month’s COP26 global climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland .

Drawing on insights from more than 200 global policy experts, the PRI’s climate forecasting group’s report, Inevitable Policy Response, analyzes the likely direction of travel in the years to come, to inform investors’ investment practices. who manage $120 trillion in assets.

Strategic partners involved in the IPR include BlackRock, Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Nuveen.

The Overland Park Solar Panel in Toledo, Ohio | Reuters

“BlackRock believes that climate risk is an investment risk and assessing climate risk on the path to net zero requires credible scenarios describing not only what is possible but also what is likely,” said Ashley Schulten, Head of ESG Investments, Global Fixed Income at BlackRock.

“The detailed policy forecasts in this work help the market conceptualize the key shifts that could occur in energy and land systems across the world if the predicted acceleration in climate policy occurs.”

Outlining what would be needed to meet the 1.5°C outcome, the report states in its “Required Policy Scenario” that the world should end deforestation, ideally by 2025; completely stop relentless coal burning by 2035; and phasing out new fossil fuel cars in nearly all markets by 2040, while achieving 100% clean energy globally by 2045.

The gap between forecasts and required scenarios meant that “companies, investors and governments that have committed to net zero by 2050 need to accelerate their efforts more than ever,” said global head Alex Bernhardt. research on sustainable development at BNP Paribas Asset Management.

“This is the key message as we approach COP26.”

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]]> Nissan unveils high-tech green factory for next-generation electric vehicles Sat, 09 Oct 2021 07:00:00 +0000

Nissan Motor Co. plans to spend more than 130 billion yen ($ 1.2 billion) to implement new technologies that will make its global factories more efficient, less polluting and ready to produce next-generation cars such as cars. electric vehicles.

As part of its “Intelligent Factory Initiative”, Nissan has spent around 33 billion euros over the past two years to install state-of-the-art equipment at its factory in Tochigi Prefecture. The company now plans to bring the same initiative to major factories in Japan and the United States, Nissan executive vice president Hideyuki Sakamoto said in an interview on Friday.

Factories Nissan is looking to supply with new investment include its factories in Oppama and Kyushu in Japan and its factories in Canton and Smyrna in the United States. the Tochigi site, Sakamoto said, adding that new equipment will be introduced to the sites gradually over a period of around seven years.

Nissan unveiled its renovated smart factory in Tochigi on Friday. Technologies introduced to the site include production facilities for electric vehicles, efficiency-improving VR training systems and new automated parts of its production lines. Nissan will also electrify plant equipment and source electricity from renewables and fuel cells as part of its plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from factories by 41% by 2030 compared to at 2019 levels, Sakamoto said.

Nissan first announced in 2019 that it would begin installing advanced technology and equipment at its Tochigi plant. The 2.9 million square meter (717 acre) site produces approximately 250,000 vehicles per year, including several Infiniti-branded models. The Nissan Tochigi factory and its technologies are designed to serve as a model for global factories.

Nissan is expected to start production of its flagship electric vehicle Ariya in Tochigi during this fiscal year. The EV crossover is one of 12 new models that Nissan plans to release as part of its Nissan Next turnaround plan. Analysts pointed out that the model was key to the automaker’s future performance. Nissan presents the car as embodying its decades of experience in producing electric models.

Staff work at Nissan Motor Co. during a tour of the company’s Kaminokawa plant in Tochigi prefecture on Friday. | REUTERS

Since the Tochigi plant will produce electric cars, the lines had to be altered in several ways to produce both battery and gasoline models. This is noticeable in the section of the production line that mounts the powertrains – the assembly of every component that pushes a vehicle forward. Automated pallets are programmed to install electric and conventional powertrains for cars. The system measures the dimensions of the car and makes micro-adjustments to ensure that the assemblies are installed with an accuracy of a fraction of a millimeter.

There are also machines installed to produce parts specifically for the Ariya. For the first time in mass-produced cars, according to Nissan, the Ariya will replace magnets commonly used in rotors with tightly wound copper wire. This improves the efficiency of the engine component when traveling at high speed and helps reduce expensive and risky rare earth metals for supply.

To improve the efficiency of the Tochigi plant, mixed reality headsets are used to train workers to perform processes such as checking complex auto parts for scratches or deformations. When you use the headset to watch machines, instructions appear suspended in the air and arrows point to areas of the room that need to be checked. Workers can also survey and inspect a simulated car.

In another attempt to increase efficiency, Nissan installed human monitors in a control room on the second floor of a building on the site. They monitor 27 screens for any problem occurring on the production lines. Sensors scattered around the floors of the factory warn of any problem, and workers using camera headsets and tablets are dispatched to the site and given instructions from monitors on how to resolve a problem if it occurs. Nissan estimates that this system reduces equipment recovery time by 30%.

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Smart Cars, Not Electric Vehicles, ‘Real Game Changer’ Says Volkswagen CEO Mon, 06 Sep 2021 07:00:00 +0000

Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess said on Sunday that self-driving cars, not electric vehicles, were the “real game changer” for the auto industry, which is facing the end of combustion engines in Europe. here 2035.

Diess’s comments signal the pace at which the 62-year-old is trying to transform Europe’s biggest automaker by essentially saying the switch to battery-electric vehicles, which has yet to be backed by actual sales, has been sealed.

“Autonomous driving is really going to change our industry like never before,” Diess said in Munich ahead of the IAA Mobility Show’s official opening, adding that the switch to electrified cars was “a bit easy” in comparison.

“The real game changer is software and autonomous driving. “

Diess spoke as environmental pressure on the auto sector intensifies, with the European Commission proposing in July an effective ban on the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars from 2035.

On Friday, Greenpeace and German environmental NGO Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) said they would take legal action against German automakers, including Volkswagen, if they did not step up their climate change policies.

Diess, who was confronted with Greenpeace activists before entering the site on Sunday, is therefore not just aiming to overtake Tesla and make Volkswagen the world’s largest seller of electric vehicles by 2025.

He also wants to make software services for autonomous cars a key pillar of the group’s future business, which is why Volkswagen has acquired autonomous driving software startup Argo AI, a competitor of Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo.

Traditional automakers and tech companies have spent billions of dollars over the past decade to realize the vision of driverless cars, but axis robots remain elusive due to technical and regulatory hurdles that require continued human presence.

Volkswagen is forecasting 1.2 trillion euros ($ 1.43 trillion) in automotive software-based sales by 2030, accounting for about a quarter of the global mobility market, which is expected to more than double to reach 5 trillion euros as a result.

“By 2030… approximately 85% of our business is cars, private cars, private and shared rental cars. And about 15% of mobility should be shuttles, mobility as a service, ”said Diess.

This has to do with the group’s recent decision to lead a consortium in the acquisition of car rental company Europcar, a gamble on potentially lucrative mobility services that have yet to come true.

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Recreational vehicles gain popularity in Japan amid pandemic Sun, 15 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000

Recreational vehicles, including motorhomes, are gaining popularity in Japan for family and individual trips to avoid crowded places amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We saw orders jump about 20% in 2020 compared to 2019 before the pandemic,” said Kenji Araki, president of Nuts RV Co., a major Japanese maker of recreational vehicles.

Strong demand continues this year and orders exceed production, Araki said, adding that some models take a year and a half to ship.

Some recreational vehicles sell for more than 10 million yen.

But models costing around 5 million yen, including one based on Toyota Motor Corp.’s Hiace van, are selling well. “Affordable prices and short delivery times are attractive to beginners,” Araki said.

RVs are often thought to be used at campsites, but they are frequently used at bus stations.

Family trips using RVs and restaurants are popular among people in their 30s and 60s, an official with the Japan RV Association said.

The number of recreational vehicles owned in Japan exceeded 100,000 in 2016 and increased to 127,400 in 2020.

The demand for recreational vehicles is expected to increase further. They’re also “increasingly being used for non-recreational purposes, including for remote work amid the pandemic and during natural disasters,” Araki said.

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]]> Discounts for vaccinated people spread to restaurants and hotels across Japan Wed, 11 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000

Restaurants, hotels and even wedding venues have started offering discounts to guests fully vaccinated against the coronavirus as part of efforts to revive the economy after the pandemic.

While the efforts may encourage more people to get the vaccine, some warn that such discounts could cause people reluctant to receive the vaccine to come under peer pressure.

“I want things to get back to the days before the pandemic as quickly as possible,” said Toshiyuki Fujimura, 54-year-old deputy director of a yakiniku Grilled meat restaurant in Nagoya, which offers up to 3,000 ($ 27) of out-of-service meals to customers who show proof of vaccination.

Yuka Torii, a 47-year-old midwife, was happy to use the discount, saying the initiative will inspire more people to get vaccinated and “make the world a little better.”

The Tourism Federation of Fujikawaguchiko, a town in Yamanashi Prefecture near Mount Fuji, has also started offering discounts at 30 of its member stores for fully vaccinated people. Offers include 10% off entrance fees as well as food and drink expenses.

“Our goal is to encourage more people to come and go sightseeing and get vaccinated,” a staff member said.

Unzen Onsen Azumaen, a ryokan (traditional Japanese hostel) in Nagasaki Prefecture, distributed vouchers to be used in its on-site shop to those who were vaccinated.

The discounts helped gradually increase bookings after the establishment had to be temporarily closed at some point in the wake of the virus outbreak, he said.

A grilled meat restaurant in Nagoya offers discounts to customers who can prove they have been vaccinated. | KYODO

Meanwhile, Garden Place Kobayashiro, a wedding venue in Niigata Prefecture, has started a cash back program where newlyweds can receive 3,000 for each guest who has been vaccinated.

Yusuke Nakada and Saki Inozume, who plan to host their wedding in September, said about a third of their invitation list would be eligible for the money.

“We have a lot of older parents so that will give us some comfort,” said the couple, both 26.

Meanwhile, some people remain reluctant to take the vaccine due to mistrust of the side effects and possible risks, and concerns have been expressed that such reductions could cause some people to feel forced to be vaccinated.

Goodluck Promotion Co., a concert planning company based in Okayama Prefecture, said it did not openly announce its reimbursement program for those vaccinated because of “diverse opinions” on the matter.

In late July, local governments began accepting requests for so-called vaccine passports certifying that people traveling abroad are vaccinated against COVID-19, but Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato has maintained a cautious stance on to their use in Japan because of concerns that they will cause “unfair discrimination.”

“Vaccination is based on an individual’s free will,” said Kenta Yamada, professor of media law and journalism at Senshu University. “We must not create a society where those who do not get vaccinated feel guilty or the losers. We must be careful not to encourage peer pressure through vaccine rebate programs. “

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Yamaha wants to put the vroom-vroom back in electric vehicles Fri, 06 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000

Electric cars are better for the environment and cheaper to use. They are gaining ground in many countries as governments strive to achieve carbon neutrality. But one thing they don’t have on regular vehicles – that hoarse roar that lights up the eyes of gearboxes around the world.

Yamaha Motor Co. is working on a solution. Best known for its motorcycles and sharing historical ties to musical instrument maker Yamaha Corp., the company creates a range of soundscapes to replicate the sound an internal combustion engine car makes when accelerating.

Engineers in the division, called Alive, believe sound is crucial for a driver to feel in control and speed. Many people prefer the classic vroom-vroom noise, but the sky is the limit, according to Hideo Fujita, who is part of the soundscapes team at Yamaha. “Even one that looks like Star Wars” is possible, he said.

Yamaha also receives help from its musical partner. He sourced sound chips from the piano maker and worked on tests that treated a car shell more like a musical instrument, examining what kind of sounds resonate best when a driver presses the pedal. .

The Japanese company isn’t alone in trying to bring some excitement to the eerily calm world of electric cars. BMW AG collaborates with German composer Hans Zimmer to produce the sound of the BMW i4, the M version of the BMW i4 and the BMW iX.

However, in Yamaha’s home country, where electric cars are still nascent, even sports car enthusiasts are struggling to get their guttural fix. Japan tightened the rules for passenger car noise last year, limiting sound to 70 to 74 decibels, the equivalent of a vacuum cleaner or television.

Yamaha has not announced when it will start selling the soundscape, but it plans to start small, first selling them to drivers of luxury electric sports cars. One day, as more people switch to electric vehicles, sound devices may become a regular feature of electric vehicles, predicts Yamaha engineer Sumito Tanaka.

“When it comes to creating a soundscape that is compatible with a car, we have these strengths,” Tanaka said. “No one can beat us.”

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Shizuoka hotels welcome deadly landslide evacuees Sat, 10 Jul 2021 07:00:00 +0000

Hundreds continue to take refuge from a massive mudslide a week ago in central Japan, but rather than typical evacuation lodges in school gymnasiums, many have been greeted by hotels.

The disaster occurred in the resort town of Atami in Shizuoka Prefecture, less than an hour from Tokyo by high-speed train. Local hoteliers have offered to accept those who could not return home due to the mudslide, which left at least nine dead, and 20 people are still missing.

The new WelCity Yugawara welcomed around 90 people on July 3, the day of the disaster.

“I could rest in a clean tatami room,” said Kenji Aikawa, a 51-year-old chef. “Plus, I could bathe in a hot spring and relax. “

A hot spring hotel is a world apart from a gymnasium, where disaster evacuees typically sleep on the floor in large numbers with little or no privacy.

The New Akao Hotel told the city government the day after the disaster that it was ready to welcome the evacuees.

After receiving a formal request from city officials to accept a group of elderly people to evacuate from a care facility near the disaster area, the hotel spread futons over a large tatami room usually used for banquets.

He also provided rice balls and pork and vegetable soup to others affected by the disaster.

“We thought about what we could do as a hotel,” said Shinobu Kamei, a spokesperson. “All the hotel staff came together” to help, she said.

Disaster Relief Personnel Friday in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture | KYODO

As of Friday evening, a total of 572 people were staying at the Atami New Fujiya Hotel and Hotel New Akao. Most of the evacuees were staying at Atami New Fujiya, which decided to extend the initially planned stay by one week, until July 16, to accommodate the evacuees.

“This is a major and unprecedented disaster for Atami,” said Kamei of the New Akao Hotel.

“Because Atami is a tourist site, there are many accommodation facilities. We don’t know how long the situation requiring evacuation will last, but we would like to offer full support, ”she said.

Some small-scale accommodation facilities in Atami have also started accommodating evacuees free of charge.

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