The Toyota Motor Corporation is currently looking for partners in alternative-fuel technology. This is evident with their purchase of a minority stake in Tesla Motors Inc. last month. Toyota is currently working on a prototype for an electric car and exploring an “omni” approach to alternative fuel vehicles such as hydrogen fuel-cell, biodiesel and other biofuel-powered cars and trucks.
In the past, Toyota has been notoriously selective with their partnerships. By purchasing $50 million of Tesla stock, it shows that Toyota is keenly aware the landscape of mass transportation could be changing sooner than they even expected. Although it’s not a complete revamp of company infrastructure or a multi-billion dollar investment, Toyota is finally showing signs of progressive strategies within the alternative fuel industry.
The Exxon Corporation and BP Oil are also showing increased interest in the renewable fuel movement. Since early 2010, Exxon has increased public visibility with their algae research and development campaigns. Additionally, the oil giant is scheduled to invest over $1 billon in algae research alone for ‘10. And just recently, BP Oil acquired the biofuel company Verenium, for $98 million.
Many pessimists are deeming the actions of these large corporations as marketing and PR stunts. Regardless, the investment still counts as positive momentum for the biodiesel industry.