Toyota Motor Corporation and Subaru Corporation have agreed to jointly develop a platform dedicated to battery electric vehicles (BEVs), as well as to develop a C-segment-class BEV sports utility vehicle (SUV) model for sale under each company’s own brand.
The platform will target BEVs for midsize and large passenger vehicles.
By combining the automakers’ respective strengths – such as the all-wheel-drive technologies that Subaru has cultivated over many years and the vehicle electrification technologies that Toyota has employed – they intend to take up the challenge of creating attractive products with appeal that only BEVs can offer.
Toyota and Subaru first concluded a business collaboration agreement in 2005, which has since resulted in the companies deepening their cooperation in fields including development, production and sale – for example, their jointly developed rear-wheel-drive Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ vehicles in 2012 and Subaru’s Crosstek hybrid electric vehicle.
A statement issued by the automakers on Monday noted that the automotive industry was in a period of profound transformation.
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 have been required to conduct technological development with a sense of speed across a broader-than-ever spectrum of initiatives.
In addressing vehicle electrification, efficient and speedy development of appropriate products is a must, owing to significant variation in the energy situations of each country or region and in government policies, as well as owing to resulting differences in environmental regulations, in the stages of infrastructure preparation, and in market needs for electrified vehicles.
Toyota and Subaru stated that the commercialisation of BEVs required the use of large-capacity batteries and, along with the popularisation of BEVs, demands of new dimensions would be placed on battery supply.
In addition, stemming from differences in how cars will be used due to maximum cruising ranges and the state of infrastructure construction, sales methods with a new approach will also be needed.
These and other issues present a growing number of challenges related to costs, supply, and ways of selling BEVs.
“As a first step in this direction, while accelerating production by bringing together technologies that represent each company's strengths and cooperating where possible, the two companies will jointly develop a BEV-dedicated platform.
“The platform will be developed in a way that will make it broadly applicable to multiple vehicle types, including C-segment-class and D-segment-class sedans and SUVs, as well as to efficient development of derivative vehicle models,” Subaru said.