Toyota plans to set up a Chinese JV to manufacture batteries for the country’s electric-gasoline hybrid auto market.
Takanori Yokoi, Toyota spokesman, said the automaker has begun negotiations with Hunan Corun New Energy to jointly manufacture nickel-metal hydride batteries for hybrid vehicles, which Toyota plans to begin selling in China in 2015. Toyota also plans to develop key components for hybrids in China, to make hybrid vehicles cheaper.
China has changed its industry policy becoming more focused on ‘new energy’ vehicles, such as EVs and hybrids. The country has offered big subsidies for private purchase of EVs and heavily electrified “near all-electric” plug-in hybrids, but not as much for conventional hybrids. Toyota will launch around 2015 two relatively affordable hybrid vehicles, one for its JV with Guangzhou Automobile and one for its JV with FAW Group.
Domestic automakers such as SAIC Motor and Brilliance Auto are also developing the fuel-saving technology introduced by Toyota, and BYD said that in the next several years it plans to stop selling gasoline-fueled vehicles, and turn to EVs and hybrids.
The JV between Toyota and Corun New Energy will be called Corun PEVE Automotive Battery, and will be 41% owned by Primearth EV Energy, a JV between Toyota and Japan’s Panasonic, 5% by Toyota Motor China and 4% by Toyota Tsusho, a Toyota affiliate.