Toyota has signed an agreement with BYD for the joint development of battery electric vehicles aimed at the Chinese market. The cars will be sold under the Toyota brand in the first half of the 2020s.
The two companies, which until now were rivals, will be making sedans as well as low-floor SUVs, plus the onboard batteries these vehicles will require in order to keep things emissions free.
Both Toyota as well as BYD have been pioneers of the electrified vehicle movement. The latter was actually the first company in the world to sell mass production plug-in hybrid models and since 2015, BYD’s sales of BEVs and PHEVs have been ranked first in the world for four straight years.
In order to get even more battery electric vehicles out into the world and reduce CO2 emissions, the two companies will have to set aside their rivalry and work together – with this collaboration representing a major first step towards that common goal.
As for Toyota, while it was the first automaker to launch mass production hybrids, it didn’t embrace battery EVs until much later, compared to rivals such as Nissan for example. Still, Toyota aims to get half of its global sales from EVs (including gasoline hybrids) by 2025, reports Autonews Europe.
Japan’s top automaker is also planning on launching its first battery electric vehicle in China next year, in the shape of a C-HR / IZOA crossover.
Note: Toyota C-HR / IZOA compact crossover pictured