Toyota is accelerating their pace in developing battery electric vehicles: After a battery cooperation with CATL was signed a few days ago, the Japanese carmaker is now announcing the details of a comprehensive deal with BYD.
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The deal provides for the joint development of BEVs and their batteries. According to a Toyota press release, electric sedans and SUVs are planned for launch on the Chinese market in the first half of the 2020s under the Toyota brand. One sentence in particular stands out: “To accomplish these goals [CO2 reduction], both companies believe there is a need to put aside their rivalry and collaborate; therefore, the two companies have agreed to jointly develop BEVs”.
In June, Toyota announced that it would enter into a series of collaborations in China to accelerate the development of electric cars and ensure the supply of key battery cells. These include the deal with CATL, which includes not only a “stable” supply of CATL batteries to Toyota but also the development of new battery technologies, the improvement of product quality and the recycling of used batteries.
It is likely, but not certain, that these cells will be installed in BYD Toyota vehicles, considering that BYD also manufactures cells itself. Toyota also wants to build electric cars with Subaru. The two Japanese companies are currently developing a platform for electric SUVs.
Toyota set the goal of increasing sales of electrified vehicles to 5.5 million vehicles by 2025 – three times the amount in 2018. 4.5 million of these vehicles are to be made up by hybrids and plug-in hybrids, the remainder by fuel cell cars and battery-electric cars. These goals are only attainable if Toyota has a sufficient supply of batteries. Toyota’s recent partnerships save the company from having to finance investments in future technologies alone. In addition to the Chinese companies CATL and BYD, the Japanese tech giant Toshiba and battery manufacturer GS Yuasa are also both working cooperations with Toyota.
BYD (“Build Your Dreams”) was founded in 1995 as a battery company and now not only builds electric vehicles of various sizes, but also large battery cells. BYD is the largest electric car manufacturers in the world and produces electric buses for use around the globe – partly in local joint ventures. In Europe, BYD operates bus plants in France and Hungary.
Update 07.11.2019: Toyota and BYD have signed an agreement to form a joint venture. The joint venture, in which each partner will hold a 50 per cent stake, is scheduled to start in the course of next year and will be based in China. Both companies will share not only the capital, but also the personnel: the announcement indicates that both BYD and Toyota engineers from the development departments of their respective companies will move to the new joint venture.
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