Toyota and BYD have completed the formation of their announced joint venture to jointly develop BEVs and their batteries. The joint venture, called BYD Toyota EV Technology (BTET), is based in Shenzhen and is scheduled to start operations in May.
With the 50:50 joint venture, around 300 new jobs will be created. The two companies will share not only the capital but also the personnel: Engineers from both BYD and Toyota will move to the new joint venture from the development departments of their respective companies. Hirohisa Kishi from Toyota is the chairman of the new company, Zhao Binggen from BYD is the CEO.
“With the engineers from BYD and Toyota working together under the same roof, we aim to develop BEVs that are superior in performance and meet the needs of customers in China by merging the two companies’ strengths and also through friendly rivalry,” says Kishi.
Specifically, fully electric sedans and SUVs are planned to be introduced to the Chinese market in the first half of the 2020s under the Toyota brand. This has officially been in the works since mid-2019.
Toyota has been trying to catch up in the development of electric cars for some time now. Globally, the company is making a slow start into the BEV market. In June 2019, the Japanese company announced that they would enter into a series of cooperation agreements in China. These include a deal with CATL, which not only includes a “stable” supply of rechargeable batteries to Toyota, but also the development of new battery technologies, the improvement of product quality, and the reuse and recycling of used batteries.
It is likely, but not certain, that these cells will be installed in BYD Toyota vehicles since BYD also manufactures cells itself, and Toyota has just set up a battery joint venture with Panasonic. The new joint venture will Independent of Toyota’s plans for China, where the company also plans to build electric cars with Subaru, among others. The two Japanese companies are currently developing a platform for electric SUVs.