Over the next decades, half of all vehicles sold are projected to be electric, and more countries are shifting towards electric vehicles, banning diesel- and petroleum/gasoline-fueled cars to meet the Paris Climate Agreement.
Meanwhile, Tesla and other new electric car manufacturers are gaining names in the vehicle industry, with the Volkswagen diesel scandal and batteries’ prices getting cheaper allow electric vehicles more respect and consideration. All of these put pressure on the traditional giant car manufacturers to go with the flow and secure plans for fully electric vehicles.
Toyota and Mazda, two giant automakers, neither have a fully electric passenger car on the market yet, and both are lagging behind their rivals. Wanting to catch up with their old and new rivals, Toyota has founded last August a joint venture, named EV Common Architecture Spirit Co Ltd, with Mazda to boost their electric vehicle technology. Ninety percent of the joint venture’s shares will be owned by Toyota, while the remaining ten percent is shared equally by Mazda and Toyota’s biggest supplier, Denso Corp.
In a statement, Toyota said that the joint venture will be creating a range of affordable electric cars comprised of mini-vehicles, passenger cars, SUV’s and light trucks. Most of the new company’s financial aspect and knowledge on electric vehicles are taken by Toyota, while Mazda’s engineering team boasts of their breakthrough technologies like the compression ignition engine, which was launched just last month.
Just last year, following a period of establishing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the market, Toyota has set up a new division, led by President Akio Toyoda. The new division is aimed at developing electric vehicles, which are planned to be introduced to China in the coming years. Also, in five years, Toyota will be introducing to the market a game-changing solid-state electric vehicle battery.
The said new division will be working continuously as a separate entity from the new joint venture, whereas Toyota and Mazda will be cooperating on developing electric vehicle technology. Mazda, on the other hand, even with just a fraction of Toyota’s R&D budget, is set to launch electric vehicles in three years.