Global automotive heavyweights BYD and Toyota have formed a partnership to build cars and develop the onboard lithium-ion battery packs for those vehicles.
The Chinese and Japanese (respectively) firms announced on 19 July they had signed an agreement for the joint development of electric vehicles that will include developing sedans and low-floor SUV battery EVs (BEVs).
The first BEVs are scheduled to be launched in China, under Toyota’s brand, during the first half of next year.
The move is set to help both Toyota and China’s vehicle market.
Earlier this year the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported that China’s vehicle market hit 28 million sales last year. This April, the association recorded a 14.6% drop in sales year-on-year in April, which marked the 10th consecutive month of decline.
Toyota sold 1.5 million cars in China last year, including models from its joint ventures FAW-Toyota (with First Auto Works) and GAC-Toyota (with Guangzhou Automobile Group). In January the firm announced it wanted to lift sales by 8% in the country.
Toyota’s EV pedigree stretches back to 1997 when it launched its mass production hybrid electrified vehicle the Prius— now a by-word for green motoring, especially among Hollywood’s acting fraternity.
In 2008, Chinese firm BYD began selling its plug-in hybrid electrified vehicle (PHEV). The company has since grown to boast global PHEVssales of 113,000 last year, and has sold around 40,000 electric buses to date.
Last week BBB reported how China battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology had signed a deal to supply lithium-ion batteries to Toyota.