Toyota Motor and five Chinese OEMs—China FAW Corporation Limited (FAW); Dongfeng Motor Corporation (DFM); Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd. (GAC Group); Beijing Automotive Group Co., Ltd. (BAIC Group); and Beijing SinoHytec Co., Ltd.—signed a joint venture agreement for the establishment of United Fuel Cell System R&D (Beijing) Co., Ltd. (FCRD). FCRD's primary business will be the development of fuel cell systems for commercial vehicles to contribute to the realization of a clean mobility society in China.
Each company will invest in the joint venture. Dong Changzheng will be appointed chairman and Ryu Akita will be chief executive officer (CEO). Plans call for FCRD to be established in Beijing during 2020.
In accordance with the Technology Roadmap for Energy-Saving and New Energy Vehicles announced by China in 2016, the FCEV market, primarily for commercial vehicles, is growing at a pace not seen anywhere else in the world. Based on the belief that industry-wide efforts to build the foundations for the widespread adoption of FCEVs under an open structure rather than measures by individual companies will be essential for the spread and firm establishment of FCEVs in the Chinese market, which is undergoing these extreme changes, these six companies, which share a common vision for FCEVs, decided to establish an R&D joint venture.
SinoHytec’s YHTG80 80 kW fuel cell system
The manufacturers of completed vehicles, which represent China’s extensive commercial vehicle development know-how and market experience along with SinoHytec and Toyota, which have experience with FC system development as well as results in the market, believe that they can work together as partners to promote the spread of FCEVs and develop competitive fuel cell systems that comply with regulations in China.
Specifically, the six companies will engage in discussions to formulate product plans and create a single streamlined structure to develop a series of technologies from components including FC stacks that satisfy performance needs in China and FC system controls that support those components, to vehicle installation.
The companies believe that by doing this, the lead time from development to commercialization will be substantially shortened, making it possible to dramatically increase the pace of each stage of FCEV proliferation in the Chinese commercial vehicle market. They will tackle the challenges of developing low-cost, competitive fuel cell systems and their key components with superior product strengths including the drive performance, fuel efficiency, and durability that will be essential for the widespread adoption of FCEVs.
Total initial investment will be approximately ¥5.019 billion (US$46 million). Equity participation will be: Toyota 65%, SinoHytec 15%, FAW 5%, DFM 5%, GAC GROUP 5%, and BAIC GROUP 5%.
FCRD is a company that holds tremendous significance for Toyota's global FC strategies. There is no other automobile market with such a sense of speed, and I am extremely confident that we will gain partners we can work with toward the shared target of expanding the use of FCEVs in China. As I regularly state, it is important to find partners to promote the electrification of cars, and by working with companies that have considerable influence in China's commercial vehicle market as well as SinoHytec, which has reliable technological capabilities, I believe that we will be able to establish the foundations for the widespread use of FCEVs in China. Toyota is committed to deepening its undertakings for the development of the FCEV industry in China through open collaborative relationships with its partners.—Shigeki Terashi, Operating Officer of Toyota