Toyota signs joint venture deal with large Chinese battery and EV manufacturer

Employees work in the BYD electric car factory in Xi'an Shaanxi province

Founded in 1995 as a battery business, BYD (Build Your Dreams) has grown into a total energy solution company, manufacturing not only electrified vehicles but other products such as large energy storage cells. Additionally, BYD and Toyota plan to staff the new company by transferring engineers and the jobs now involved in related R&D from their respective companies.

Chinese electric auto maker BYD Co Ltd and Japan's Toyota Motor Corp said on Thursday they planned to set up a joint venture to design and develop battery electric cars as they ramp up efforts to produce zero emissions vehicles. Both Toyota and BYD will staff the new company by transferring engineers and the jobs now involved in related research and development from their respective companies. The details are not yet finalized. The venture will develop battery electric vehicles and parts for them.

"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", added Toyota executive vice president Shigeki Terashi. No particulars regarding the overall value of the venture were revealed and the newly established company is projected to be set up in China mostly in 2020.

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BYD, the leader in China's new-energy vehicle sector, has been seeking to diversify its supply chain since 2017, particularly in batteries.

The softening sales follow Beijing's decision to cut the subsidies that created the electric-vehicle industry in the first place. "We hope to further advance and expand both BYD and Toyota from the efforts of the new company with BYD". Since 2015 onwards, BYD's sales of BEVs and PHEVs have been ranked first in the world for four consecutive years.

While hybrid leader Toyota has been cautious in rolling out BEVs, BYD is a serious player, making battery-powered vans, cars, and even buses at scale for domestic consumption and export. The Japanese giant has sold over 14 million electrified cars worldwide since the first Prius debut in 1997. Moreover, they wish to expand the adoption of these electric vehicles to reduce Carbon dioxide emissions with an aim to curb global warming and improve the environment.

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