Toyota, BYD partner on electric car and battery development

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Toyota announced Friday that it will work with BYD to jointly develop all-electric vehicles and onboard batteries following an announcement in June about a battery deal with the Chinese electric automaker.

Why it matters: Growth in domestic new energy vehicle (NEV) sales are ramping up, and global OEMs are looking to grab share in the world’s largest auto market. June NEV sales rose 80% year on year to 152,000 as the central government continues to promote mass adoption of electric vehicles to fight climate change.

  • The National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planner, said in a statement last month that municipal governments are prohibited from imposing limits on new energy vehicles in the form of license plate quotas. 

Details: Toyota and BYD will jointly develop battery electric vehicles (BEVs), including sedans and low-floor SUVs, as well as onboard batteries for the BEVs and other vehicles.

  • The vehicles are expected to hit the China market under the Toyota brand name from 2020 to 2025.
  • Toyota was the first company in the world to launch mass production of hybrid electrified vehicles in 1997, while BYD has been the top seller globally of all-electric vehicles since 2015.

Context: The deal is the latest in a series of recent partnerships between global automakers and Chinese OEMs as the Chinese EV industry accelerates.

  • France’s Renault SA earlier last week said it was embarking on a second electric vehicle joint venture (JV) in China with a $145 million investment to form a JV with JMEV, an electric car unit of China’s Jiangling Motors Corporation Group (JMCG). It partnered with Dongfeng Motors in 2017 for EV development and manufacturing.
  • Volkswagen expanded its presence in the electric-vehicle charging industry in collaboration with Chinese automakers FAW and JAC, and Star Charge, China’s third largest EV charging operator, to install fast-charging facilities at its 30,000 charging stations. The German automaker had launched a mobile app in 2017 which provided updated information charging station locations in Beijing, according to a Chinese media report.