Four additional automakers have opted to join a project led by Toyota Motor Corporation to develop basic technology for electric vehicles, according to a report by Nikkei Asian Review. The report stated that engineers from Suzuki Motor, Subaru, Hino Motors and Daihatsu Motor were set to join the project in January 2018.
The project is led by EV C.A. Spirit, a joint venture launched by Toyota, Mazda Motor and Denso in September. Under the project, the Japanese companies will share their electric vehicle technology to facilitate its faster development and application in various vehicle types. The joint effort is said to be aimed at Western and Chinese rivals, who are thought to be ahead in the development and application of EV technologies.
Suzuki and Daihatsu bring to the project their experience in compact vehicles, while Subaru offers extensive experience in the midsize range. As a truck manufacturer, Hino Motors is expected to aid with the development of basic technology for a wide variety of electric vehicles.
Despite the addition of the four new automakers to the project, Toyota, Mazda and Denso will retain ownership of the joint venture, with Toyota holding a 90% stake and Mazda and Denso each holding 5%. The four automakers will share in the joint venture’s research costs, as well as dispatching engineers to work on the project. About five engineers from each of the four carmakers will participate, raising the number of engineers at EV C.A. Spirit to around sixty.