China’s BYD Company Ltd. and Japan’s Toyota Motor Corporation have signed an agreement to establish a joint company for research and development in the field of battery electric vehicles (BEVs). The new company, which will design and develop BEVs (including platforms) and related parts, is expected to be established in China in 2020 with equal investment from each company.
BYD manufactures automobiles, battery-powered bicycles, buses, forklifts, rechargeable batteries, trucks and more. On the establishment of the joint venture, BYD’s Senior Vice President, Lian Yu-bo, commented, “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.”
Shigeki Terashi, Toyota’s Executive Vice President, added, “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.”
Toyota launched its Prius, the world’s first mass-produced hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), in 1997, and has since become a pioneer of electrified vehicle development with a focus on HEVs. The company 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.
In 2008, BYD became the first company to mass produce plug-in hybrid electrified vehicles (PHEVs). Since 2015, BYD’s sales of BEVs and PHEVs have been ranked first in the world.
Toyota has made several investments in the Chinese auto market in recent years, and is said to be working on developing vehicles which meet Chinese customer’s needs through a number of collaborations between Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (China) Co., Ltd. (TMEC) and the R&D centers established at Chinese joint-venture companies with China FAW Group Corporation (FAW) and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd. (GAC).
With this newly-established joint R&D company, Toyota and BYD aim to work together to further develop BEVs that are attractive to Chinese customers.