BYD and Toyota announced this morning that the two industry powerhouses have entered into an agreement that will see them partnering on the development of electric vehicle batteries. The batteries lay the foundation for an electrified future for both companies as the agreement includes provisions to partner on the development of sedans and low-floor SUVs as well.
The new set of vehicles will be produced under the Toyota brand specifically for the Chinese market in the early 2020s. On paper, BYD and Toyota are competitors, but the climate change crisis is a common enemy and brought the two companies together to strike a deal to develop mutually beneficial battery technologies and vehicles.
The move is the latest in a string of news from Toyota that show how Toyota is turning the rudder on its business away from internal combustion engines towards battery electric vehicles. To get into the battery electric vehicle game, Toyota went to one of the world leaders in both battery technology and plug-in vehicles: BYD.
BYD founder Wang Chuanfu and his team built BYD from the ground up as an energy storage solution and manufacturing partner for consumer electronics, and later into the automotive industry. His vision for a new energy economy built the company up to what it is today, the world leader in plug-in vehicle sales.
Just last month, Toyota rolled out plans to co-develop a new chassis with Subaru specifically for electric vehicles called the e-TNGA, or the electric Toyota New Global Architecture. It is the new flexible platform for electric vehicles produced by the two companies and can be stretched or shrunk to fit different vehicle types.
Then, last week Toyota dove in to the real electric vehicle game and inked a battery supply deal with the Chinese battery behemoth CATL. The new deal gives Toyota the electrified line of battery credit it so desperately needed to make a serious move into the fully electric vehicle space.
Toyota has set a public target of selling a full 50% of its vehicles as electrified vehicles by 2025. The fuzzy use of “electrified” allows the company to count its traditional non-plug-in, fossil-fuel-powered, “self-charging” hybrids in the number. Boiling that down to hard numbers, Toyota is hoping to achieve 15% of its sales from fully electric vehicles on its new e-TNGA platform by 2030.
In calendar year 2018, Toyota produced 8,885,533 vehicles, so its 2020 target translates to a plan to sell 1.3 million battery electric vehicles in 2030. Tesla is on track to achieve a similar feat in 2021.
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Featured photo by Kyle Field | CleanTechnica