Japanese automotive giant Toyota is partnering with China’s BYD to develop electric cars.
At the same time as Toyota debuts its electric Lexus in China, BYD and Toyota signed an agreement to establish a joint company to research and development for battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
The new R&D company, which will work on designing and developing BEVs (including platform) and its related parts, is anticipated to be established in China in 2020, with BYD and Toyota to evenly share 50 percent of the total capital needed.
Additionally, BYD and Toyota plan to staff the new company by transferring engineers and the jobs currently involved in related R&D from their respective companies.
On the establishment of the new company, BYD senior vice president Lian Yu-bo says: “We aim to combine BYD’s strengths in development and competitiveness in the battery electric vehicle market with Toyota’s quality and safety technology to provide the best BEV products for the market demand and consumer affection as early as we can.”
Toyota executive vice president Shigeki Terashi says: “With the same goal to further promote the widespread use of electrified vehicles, we appreciate that BYD and Toyota can become ‘teammates’, able to put aside our rivalry and collaborate.
“We hope to further advance and expand both BYD and Toyota from the efforts of the new company with BYD.”
BYD was founded in 1995 as a battery business and has grown into a total energy solution company, manufacturing not only electrified vehicles but other products such as large-size energy storage cells.
The company name BYD stands for “Build Your Dreams” and core parts for electrified vehicles such as batteries, motors and power electronics are among the products that BYD develops in-house.
In 2008, BYD became the first company in the world to sell mass production of plug-in hybrid electrified vehicles (PHEVs). Since 2015 onwards, BYD’s sales of BEVs and PHEVs have been ranked first in the world for four consecutive years.
Since Toyota launched the Prius, the world’s first mass-produced hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), in 1997, the company has become a pioneer of electrified vehicle development with a focus on HEVs.
Toyota has sold more than 14 million electrified vehicles worldwide and has accumulated extensive knowledge concerning the development, production, and sale of both HEVs and their related core components.
Also, based on the thinking that electrified vehicles contribute to the society only when its popularized, Toyota is initiating electrification globally.
In China, Toyota is also working on spreading electrification and also developing vehicles which meets Chinese customer’s needs in collaboration between Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing China (TMEC), and the R&D centers established at Chinese joint-venture companies with China FAW Group Corporation (FAW) and Guangzhou Automobile Group.
With the newly established joint R&D company, Toyota and BYD aim to work together to further develop BEVs that are attractive to Chinese customers, and by further promoting their widespread adoption, aim to contribute toward environmental improvement.