BYD, Toyota to Set-up Research Venture to Develop EV

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

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

BYD Company Ltd., a Chinese automaker, has recently entered into a joint venture agreement with Toyota Motor Corporation, another Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer, for the designing and development of new electric vehicles.

The automakers will invest 50-50 in a new company, the primary mission of which will be to design and develop BEVs from the ground up. However, earlier this year Toyota updated its goal to sell 5.5 million electric vehicles per year by 2025, five years earlier than predicted in its 2017 strategy. BYD and Toyota also plan to staff the new JV by transferring engineers and jobs now involved in related R&D from their respective companies.

Toyota, which expects to earn half of its global sales from electric vehicles by 2025, is looking to partner with BYD for battery supplies.

Toyota's partnership with Subaru will play in both the BEV and autonomy spaces. The new company will be based in China, and will also develop frames and parts for electric vehicles. The government is promoting clean energy vehicles to fight pollution and spur new industries.

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The softening sales follow Beijing's decision to cut the subsidies that created the electric-vehicle industry in the first place. The company is backed by investor Warren Buffet.

The company also builds electric buses, which are in service in dozens of countries including the U.S., Britain, Japan, India and Chile. BYD is marketing SkyRail as a solution to China's traffic problems in urban areas. "We hope to further advance and expand both BYD and Toyota from the efforts of the new company with BYD", Toyota executive VP Shigeki Terashi commented.

In 2008, BYD became the first company in the world to sell and mass produce plug-in hybrid electrified vehicles (PHEVs). 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. However, its profits are expected to drop this year as China cuts subsidies on EV.

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