TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp. plans to develop full-electric vehicles and batteries with China's BYD as it ramps up partnerships with Chinese players in order to build affordable EVs for the world's top auto market.
In a joint statement, Toyota and the Chinese electric automaker said on Friday that they would develop sedans and SUVs, which would then be sold under the Toyota brand in China "in the first half" of the 2020s.
Earlier this week, Toyota announced it was teaming up with China's Contemporary Amerex Technology Co. to supply and develop batteries for lower-emission vehicles.
Widely considered a late comer in embracing battery EVs versus rivals including Nissan, Toyota had flagged in June that it aimed to get half of its global sales from EVs, including gasoline hybrids, by 2025 -- five years ahead of schedule.
But to meet this accelerated timeline, Toyota would need more batteries than anticipated, prompting it to look beyond Panasonic, its long-time partner in battery development, to secure supply.
These measures come amid increasing growth in the zero-emission vehicle market, with tighter global-emissions regulations expected to shift even more drivers away from combustion-engine vehicles in the coming decades.
In China, Toyota is planning to launch its first battery EV, a version of its C-HR/IZOA compact crossover, next year.