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Toyota and Subaru jointly to develop BEV-dedicated platform and BEV SUV

Toyota Motor Corporation and Subaru Corporation disclosed today that they have agreed jointly to develop a platform dedicated to battery electric vehicles (BEVs) for midsize and large passenger vehicles and jointly to develop a C-segment-class BEV SUV model for sale under each company’s own brand.

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A BEV-dedicated platform Toyota and Subaru will jointly develop.

Ever since concluding an agreement on business collaboration in 2005, Toyota and Subaru have been deepening their cooperation in various fields, including development, production, and sales.

Examples include efforts that led to the start of sales of the jointly developed rear-wheel-drive Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ in 2012 and the start of sales of Subaru’s Crosstrek Hybrid original plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) in the United States, to which was applied knowledge related to Toyota’s HEV technologies.

The automotive industry is in the midst of 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 are required to conduct technological development with a sense of speed across a broader-than-ever spectrum of initiatives. Building on their collaborative ties thus far deepened, the agreement announced today represents a new area of collaboration that especially focuses on the urgent need to respond to CASE’s “E” domain, or electrified powertrains and components.

In addressing vehicle electrification, due to significant variation in the energy situations of each country or region and in government policies, as well as due to resulting differences in environmental regulations, in the stages of infrastructure preparation, and in market needs for electrified vehicles, efficient and speedy development of appropriate products is a must, the partners said.

Furthermore, the commercialization of BEVs requires the use of large-capacity batteries, and, along with the popularization of BEVs, demands of a new dimension will 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.

To respond with a sense of speed to the diversifying needs of these markets and to multiple challenges, both Subaru and Toyota believe that it is necessary to pursue a business model that goes beyond convention, crossing over industrial boundaries together with various types of other entities that share their aspirations.

As a first step in this direction, while accelerating productization 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.

Following this agreement with Toyota, Subaru will now shift its existing BEV development resources to this new joint project. Within this new framework, Subaru will continue its efforts to create an attractive BEV SUV for its customers, while improving efficiencies in terms of engineering, development, purchasing, and other areas through the new joint project.

Comments

mahonj

They have to do it. You have to build EVs from the ground up.
Half measures won't work.
(I assume this means that there isn't enough room for a large battery unless you put it under the floor, hence a new platform.)
It doesn't matter how good your hybrid technology is, if you want to do EVs, you need a new base.

HarveyD

Toyota has a lot of catching up to do with EVs and it is smart to join with Subaru, Mitsubishi and others to share technology, production and sales.

They should be able to develop and mass produce up-to-date EVs using improved batteries by 2022/2023 or so?

electric-car-insider.com

Buried in that butter-smooth marketing speak was this insight:

“sales methods with a new approach will also be needed. ”

Maybe the slumbering giant is waking up.

HarveyD

Wonder if this group will design and mass produce FC/PHEVs (various sizes) with reduced pollution and GHGs while maintaining extended all weather range capabilities.

Lad

Toyota will sell its EV when ICE sales drop. That's true of all the OEMs...Don't imagine for a minute Toyota doesn't have an EV waiting in the back room.

Engineer-Poet

Here is the key phrase in the above:

... demands of a new dimension will be placed on battery supply.

There are many resource constraints in the battery supply chain:  lithium, cobalt, and no doubt a bunch of other things.  New chemistries are always under investigation and development, but none so far stands ready to break out as a new favorite to replace lithium-ion.  Tight resources mean high cost.

The way to deal with tight resources is to do more with less.  The MHEV does something (not too much) with very little.  The BEV does it all, but requires a lot.  The PHEV is in the middle.  It uses on the order of 1/10 as much battery as the pure BEV, but easily achieves 2/3 of the fuel savings.  A vehicle platform which is designed for PHEV, such as a dedicated battery space under passenger seats, would take less rework than a full BEV, require a fraction of the battery capacity per vehicle, and still yield most of the fuel savings.  It is more complex as it retains the ICE and its fuel and cooling systems, but right now it looks like the fastest route to replacing liquid fuels with electricity.

mahonj

@EP has it, how much CO2 can you save in a battery constrained world.
I would include normal HEVs in the spectrum, more fuel saved than MHEV, less than PHev. As he says, the problem is complexity - you have to have two full engines in there (for PHEV).
The advantage for a PHEV is that you can size the batteries for average use, while for a BEV, you have to size them for maximum use - which you rarely use.
Thus, you can use 1/5 - 1/10 the battery volume.
Also, you should be careful to recycle all batteries - either as batteries or materials.
I wonder is there a way to "recondition" batteries without having to recycle them as materials.
IMO, someone is going to make alot of money recycling LiIon batteries.

yoatmon

I wouldn't place my bets on future batteries based on Li; cobalt is already on a descending arc. There are several battery chemistries in the pipeline based on sodium and sulphur which will emerge on the market in two to three years time. There is no constraint on the supply of these materials and they are also dirt cheap.

Engineer-Poet

People have been talking sodium-sulfur batteries since they were supposed to be major storage elements for both the grid and vehicles in the 1970's.  IIRC Ford had a Na-S powered van.

40+ years later and we still don't have product to purchase.  As I said, none so far stands ready to break out as a new favorite to replace lithium-ion.  Our first real notice that it's happening is likely to be a press release from LG Chem.

Lad

Youtmon:
Several years ago Argonne Labs launched a 5 year program, funded by DOE, to bring scientists together on a battery development program with the included goal of looking at Mg, Al, S, etc., as replacements for the current Li battery chemistries...nothing, other than conclusions that they wouldn't work and, of course a request for another 5 years of funding...pretty discouraging.

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