Subaru and Toyota to develop new Electric Vehicles and SUV
Subaru Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation have announced that they will jointly develop a new platform for battery electric vehicles (BEVs). The two auto companies’ efforts will be geared toward midsize and large passenger vehicles. They will also produce a C-segment class BEV SUV model which each company will sell under its own brand. So we can expect to see a future electric counterpart to the Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester under a joint engineering project.
Toyota is expected to contribute its expertise in vehicle electrification after leading gasoline-electric hybrid sales with its Prius models, while Subaru will add its experience in all-wheel-drive technology. Subaru says that they will shift their existing BEV development to the new platform.
The two companies have already collaborated on the rear-wheel drive sports car known as the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ, which went on sale in 2012. The Subaru Crosstrek (aka XV) Hybrid plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) that was sold in the USA also used Toyota’s HEV technologies.
The joint announcement acknowledged that the auto industry is in a “once-in-a-century” shift in terms of electrification, autonomous driving and car-sharing, and that sharing resources is important to meeting these new needs. There’s also a sense of urgency in that the companies must develop the technology with “a sense of speed.”
The announcement was soon followed by Toyota’s reveal of its plans to develop various models of BEV. These range from scooters, to ultra-compact two-person city car, to large SUVs. Compact BEVs will be developed together with Suzuki and Toyota subsidiary Daihatsu.
Toyota observed that the rate of adoption of electrified vehicles has accelerated by about 5 years, from when the company first made its forecasts in 2017.
Toyota is aiming to have electrified versions (gasoline electric hybrid or battery electric vehicle) of all of its vehicles available from 2025, and to sell 4.5 million units of HEV and PHEV per year, and 1 million units of BEVs and hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles per year starting in 2030. This compares to current total sales of a little above 1 million units for the top 5 vehicle markets in 2018.