Toyota launches new electric car company with BYD

Toyota and BYD are launching today a new electric car company with the goal of “developing BEVs that appeal to customers.”

The world’s biggest and most valuable automaker has been the slowest to move to electric cars.

In 2017, Toyota announced a major expansion of its electric car plans with 10 new BEVs and all models to have electric motors, but we have yet to see an all-electric car from Toyota come to market outside of China.

But the automaker has been making a lot of deals with other companies related to electric vehicles.

Last year, Toyota announced a new wide-ranging battery partnership for electric vehicles.

A few months later, the Japanese automaker also reached a deal with Chinese giant CATL for an electric car battery partnership.

After announcing a deal with China’s biggest battery maker, Toyota announced a new joint-venture with China’s biggest electric vehicle manufacturer: BYD.

Today, Toyota announced that the new company has been registered and will start operation in May.

Here are the details:

  1. Name
  1. Location
Head officePingshan District, Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province
  1. Officers
  • Chairman
    Hirohisa Kishi (Senior Executive Vice President, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (China) Co., Ltd.)
  • CEOZhao Binggen (BYD Company Ltd.)
  • Directors6 (3 from Toyota and 3 from BYD)
  • Auditors2 (1 from Toyota and 1 from BYD)
  1. Business activities
Design, development, etc. of battery electric vehicles and their platforms and related parts
  1. Equity participation
Toyota Motor Corporation (50%), BYD (50%)
  1. Employees
Approx. 300

New Chairman Hirohisa Kishi, Toyota’s head of powertrains, commented on the launch of the company:

“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.”

Zhao Binggen, who comes from BYD, has been appointed CEO. He commented:

“This joint venture company will focus on the research and development of battery electric vehicles with technology and know-how from both China and Japan. The company is committed to promoting and populating high-quality technologies that make battery electric vehicles more environmentally friendly, safe, comfortable, and intelligent. Our vision is to create a future customer-first mobility style, and a harmonious society for humans and nature.”

The new company’s mission is to “research and develop BEVs that appeal to customers and promoting their widespread adoption and also hope to contribute to improving the environment in China.”

Electrek’s Take

Virtually all of Toyota’s announcements regarding all-electric vehicles have been about the Chinese market, which has more aggressive zero-emission vehicle goals than the rest of the world, especially North America.

This announcement about a new joint-venture with BYD is no different.

At this point, it’s clear that Toyota’s BEV development is purely driven by regulations.

Therefore, I would argue that as long as they don’t make an all-electric vehicle globally available like most of its other vehicle programs (Camry, Corolla, etc.), Toyota is only making compliance electric cars.

That’s something unacceptable in 2020 in my opinion.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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