The Toyota-led electric vehicle project has gained further momentum with four more automakers joining the consortium.
Suzuki Motor, Subaru, Hino Motors and Daihatsu – known for their prowess in making trucks, midsize cars and compacts – will pool their resources together to develop basic technology for electric vehicles.
According to a Nikkei Asian Review report, the participating companies will share their advanced electric vehicle technology to speed up its development and application in various types of vehicles.
While Suzuki and Daihatsu have an edge in compact cars, Subaru understands midsize vehicles well. Hino, a truck maker, will help facilitate the development of basic technology for a wide variety of electric vehicles.
The automakers, in addition to dispatching engineers to work at the company, will share research costs. About five engineers from each of the four car makers will participate in the project, raising the number of engineers at the new company by about half to around 60.
The joint effort is aimed at taking on Western and Chinese rivals that are ahead in the race to put battery-powered cars on the road.
The project is led by EV C.A. Spirit, a venture set up jointly by Toyota, Mazda Motor and Denso in September.
Nevertheless, the agreement does not change the venture’s current ownership structure. Toyota owns 90% of the company, while Mazda and Denso each hold 5% stakes.
Image credits and content: Toyota Concept-i/Nikkei Asian Review