Toyota is founding a joint venture in China with FAW, Dongfeng, GAC, BAIC and SinoHytec for the joint development of fuel cell systems for commercial vehicles under the name of United Fuel Cell System R&D (FCRD).
Toyota will hold 65 per cent of the shares in FCRD with the Chinese hydrogen specialist SinoHytec holding another 15%. The four car companies will each own 5%. Dong Changzheng is to head the board of directors, Ryu Akita is planned as CEO. Initially, 50 employees are to work for the company in Beijing, and by 2023 the number is to rise to 100.
The six partners will provide FCRD with a starting capital of five billion yen, according to Toyota. This is equivalent to around 40 million euros. The joint venture is being set up because the partners are convinced that the basis for the widespread introduction of FCEV is open structures rather than action by individual companies, the communication says.
Toyota and SinoHytec want to contribute their experience with fuel cell systems. At the same time, FAW, Dongfeng, GAC and BAIC “represent China’s comprehensive know-how and market experience in the development of commercial vehicles”. Initially, they will draw up ga product plan and develop fuel cell stacks “that meet the performance requirements in China,” writes Toyota. But also FC system control and vehicle integration are part of FCRD’s development work.
With the joint development, the lead time to market readiness is to be “significantly” shortened, “which can drastically increase the speed of each phase of FCEV penetration in the Chinese commercial vehicle market”. However, Toyota does not yet communicate more concrete targets such as the envisioned start of production, the number of fuel cell electric vehicles or similar issues in their statement.
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