Published: Sat, June 08, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Subaru And Toyota Join Forces For Major New Project

Subaru And Toyota Join Forces For Major New Project

There "may be a gap" between Toyota's battery needs and what it can produce, as stringent emissions regulations expected in Europe, Japan and China fuel demand, Executive Vice President Shigeki Terashi told a briefing.

Toyota said on Friday that it would partner with leading Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL), as well as Chinese EV maker BYD Co Ltd for supplies.

Hybrid vehicle sales volumes are projected to be less than battery EV volumes by 2025, with the latter expected to still be fewer than 1 million vehicles, he said.

The key to creating a profitable battery EV operation could be in combining new mobility technologies, including on-demand ride services, with battery-powered electric cars, he said. The Chinese firm already has relationships with other automakers such as Honda Motor, Nissan and a multi-billion dollar battery supply deal Volvo Car Group.

In 2017, Torque News reported Subaru would join a new partnership with Toyota, Mazda, and Denso in order to acquire the basic technology needed to develop their new Subaru EV.

Traditional hybrids have worked well in the past for both brands, but this is the first time either will step into the world of fully-electric vehicles.

Toyota has always been a proponent of fuel-efficient hybrid cars, with its Prius a mainstay on the market for over 20 years now, the hybrid Corolla and Camry a much-loved choice for taxi drivers and the hybrid RAV4 introduced just last month stunning Toyota's local office by outstripping petrol sales two to one.

But it has trailed rivals such as Nissan Motor, Volkswagen and Tesla in bringing all-battery EVs to showrooms.

Toyota's electric vehicle programme will start next year, when the firm will launch electric versions of the Toyota C-HR and sister Izoa in China, alongside a Japan-only two-seat city auto.

Toyota and Subaru will jointly develop a new electric vehicle platform suitable for mid-sized and large passenger cars, including sedans and crossovers.

Toyota is, however, not changing its long-held belief that hydrogen FCVs will be the ultimate zero-emissions vehicles in the future, Terashi said.

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