By on July 19, 2019

On Friday, Toyota Motor Corp. announced it had signed an agreement for the joint development of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) with China’s BYD Company Ltd. Technically, BYD also made an announcement but we’re not scouring their press page on an hourly basis. Toyota gets top billing.

According to the release, the two companies will jointly develop “sedans and low-floor SUVs as well as the onboard batteries for these vehicles and others with the aim to launch them in the Chinese market under the Toyota brand in the first half of the 2020s.”

Having previously announced it was teaming up with Contemporary Amerex Technology (CATL) and Panasonic to supply and develop batteries, Toyota is trying to expand rapidly into electric development — after showing limited interest for years. We’ve no clue how these partnerships will influence the brand’s physical products outside of Asia but, at the very least, it should have fewer battery supply issues than some of the competition moving forward. 

The current strategy (these things are always subject to change) sees Toyota targeting 50 percent of global sales as EVs, which includes hybrids, by 2025. That’s five years sooner than previously scheduled. Presumably, these new new partnerships are necessary to make that happen.

From Toyota:

To curb global warming, both BYD and Toyota seek to reduce CO2 emissions by promoting the widespread use of BEVs. To accomplish these goals, both companies believe there is a need to put aside their rivalry and collaborate; therefore, the two companies have agreed to jointly develop BEVs.

Going forward, BYD and Toyota will make use of the electrified vehicles, and battery development technologies they have acquired through their market introductions and will work together to further develop BEVs that are attractive to customers and in further promoting their widespread adoption.


[Image: NeydtStock/Shutterstock]

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11 Comments on “Toyota Announces Product Development Deal With China’s BYD...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The BS is deep on this one.

    I thought BEVs were so simple that Toyota could snap their fingers and crush the market.

    Let’s say Toyota sells 10 million cars worldwide. If 1/4 of them are BEVs @ 60 kWh each, and 1/4 of them are hybrids @ 10 kWh, that amounts to needing 150 GWh per year for the BEVs and another 25 GWh for the hybrids, or 175 GWh total.

    Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 is running at about 23 GWh per year, so Toyota is claiming they’ll be building 7x this amount in 5 years? It took that long to get the Gigafactory up and running at this modest rate.

    Toyota is full of it, and will never achieve these volumes by then.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      You aren’t totally off, but I’d think Toyota could scale it up a bit more quickly than Tesla in this case. Howany cars were they, saddled with GM, cranking out of Freemont va. What Tesla has done? Not apples to oranges, but Toyota does know a think or two about building stuff and supply chain management. They may not grab a ton of Tesla buyers, but selling EVs to a bunch of Lexus buyers would be a big deal.

  • avatar

    “Low floor SUVs” what an age we live in

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Soooooo…Station Wagons?

      • 0 avatar

        Minivans without sliding doors? “For that commanding view of the road, drive the Toyota Camry CrossRoad.”

        Could BYD br planning to use Toyota as an entre into the US market at some point? Toyota would need to monitor quality and reliability before they’d allow their reputation to be put on the line, but I could see it happening.

  • avatar

    The Toyota announcement used the terms “Global warming” and “CO2 emissions” in the first sentence. I smell inflated budgets and much NisSino Advanced Diversified School of Terminology influence here. Check back in five years for an update.

  • avatar


    Now the B&B will be falling over each other to post how amazing and awesome this is.


    Given how behind Toyota is in BEV specifically – how soon before Chinese tech is in North American market cars.

    Oh I can’t wait to read how brilliant it is, how they saved so much money to drive profits, and how the Chinese Toyota mash up is just super duper bigley yuge amazing because – Toyota.

  • avatar

    Actually, I am very surprised that Toyota even NEEDS a partner for this, considering how they single-handedly (invented ?) developed the whole category of hybrid cars and marketed them so successfully. They obviously could do it again since electrics have many of the same issues to solve as hybrids. I smell a strong odor of bean-counter…er…salaryman’s cologne in the air at the management meeting where this was cooked up. And the smell of failure.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Doing the EV thing is exceptionally expensive, especially if you are going to have any volume. Toyota could do this alone, but Tesla has shown how difficult it is to be profitable in the market.

      Armchair critics aside (like many people around here), you never hear other car mfrs criticizing Tesla by saying they could build EVs better or more profitably. The hesitancy by other mfrs is very telling.

  • avatar

    Toyota has been very actively involved in EV development all along. They were just quiet about it. Evidence? Here’s a link to their solid-state battery patent filings. The fact that they’re moving more quickly to electric indicates they’ve had some success in getting solid-state batteries closer to mass production. Sometimes I think the whole hydrogen thing was a bit of a smokescreen. Look at all of the work they’ve been doing in the background on batteries. I think they were trying to send their competitors down the wrong path. Hey, I’d do the same thing.

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