Toyota and Subaru team up to develop electric car platform
Tokyo - Toyota and Subaru are teaming up again, and this time it’s to develop something decidedly more sensible than compact rear-wheel-drive coupes like the GT86 and BRZ.
The two Japanese companies have announced that they will jointly develop a dedicated electric vehicle platform.
The tie-up is also intended to play to the strengths of each brand, with Toyota bringing its electrification technologies to the table and Subaru supplying its expertise in all-wheel-drive power transmission.
The platform will eventually underpin a range of medium and large SUVs and sedans, starting with a Rav4-sized SUV that will be sold under both nameplates.
Toyota wants half of the vehicles it sells to be electrified, in one way or another, by the year 2025, five years ahead of schedule, and to help achieve this the company is partnering with leading Chinese battery maker Amperex Technology.
However, Toyota Vice President Shigeki Terashi admitted that fully-electric vehicles would likely still be less popular than petrol-electric hybrid vehicles in 2025, the former type possibly even struggling to break the one million units a year barrier.
Terashi also cautioned that making electric vehicles profitable would be a slow process.
“The automotive industry is in the midst of a once-in-a-century period of profound transformation,” Toyota said in a statement.
“Starting with responses to the new CASE domains of car connectivity, autonomous or assisted driving, new mobility or car-sharing, and electrified powertrains and components, both Subaru and Toyota are required to conduct technological development with a sense of speed across a broader-than-ever spectrum of initiatives.”