Toyota Announces Product Development Deal With China's BYD

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
toyota announces product development deal with chinas byd

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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  • TheDumbGuy TheDumbGuy on Jul 20, 2019

    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's cologne in the air at the management meeting where this was cooked up. And the smell of failure.

    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Jul 21, 2019

      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.

  • Mcs Mcs on Jul 21, 2019

    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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