TOYOTA AND SUBARU COME TOGETHER TO MAKE BEVs

We have seen several coming together of two or more car companies to make some types of vehicles. Some packages that come out of that can be thrilling since the strengths of both sides come aboard. What we have now is a joint venture between Toyota Motor Corporation and Subaru Corporation to make Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and some of these vehicles will be Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs).

A BEV-platfrom Toyota and Subaru will develop jointly. Image Credit: global.toyota

Toyota and Subaru disclosed on the 6th of June, 2019 that they have an agreement to jointly make a platform dedicated to Battery Electric Vehicles for midsize and large passenger vehicles and also a C-segment class BEV SUV models for sale under each company’s brand. We reckon that will be like the Toyota Aygo, Citroen C1 and the Peugeot 107/108 that were jointly developed and made in the same factories but with different logos while also remembering the Toyota –Pontiac Partnership that birthed the Vibe with the Pontiac logo and the Corolla Matrix with the Toyota logo. Mercedes and Chrysler had something of such too. Subaru brings on the properly cultivated over the years AWD and Toyota brings its Vehicle Electrification Technology. They even said that they have taken up the challenge to create products with the appeal only BEVs can offer.

It seems the business collaboration that started in 2005 between both companies is getting deeper, probably from successes recorded so far. Development, production and sales have been jointly done. The rear wheel drive Toyota 86 and the Subaru BRZ were outcomes of such partnership and sales began in 2012. Subaru also got the Crosstrek plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) out of that joint work. This knowledge will also go into the production of this joint work. The Crosstrek also initiated sales in the United States.

There is currently a development in the automotive world called Connected, Autonomous, shared & services and Electric mobility (CASE). That implies electrified powertrains and components. Some car companies like Smart have already keyed into this new programme and a fully autonomous vehicle is in view. The agreement of the two corporations especially focuses on CASE.

Basically;

  • The two automotive corporations are bringing separately cultivated technologies together to develop a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) platform for midsize and large passenger cars.
  • The companies will incorporate Subaru’s all-wheel-drive (AWD) technology and Toyota’s Vehicle Electrification Technologies.
  • They will also develop a C-segment class SUV based on the ‘to-be-developed’ BEV-dedicated platform and each brand will market the product under their own individual badges.

There are already found challenges to be surmounted towing this path. The different government policies from region to region and the environmental regulations that result, infrastructure preparation- batteries need to be charged, the efficient and speedy development of appropriate products. This also implies the need for large capacity batteries that will come with the commercialization of BEVs. Cruising range and how cars will be used is a serious factor as this will affect the size of the infrastructure required. Sales method too can’t be the like it has been with cars with Internal Combustion Engine (ICE). All these and other undisclosed and not yet seen factors will affect cost, supply and ways and methods of selling.

The two companies believe it is necessary to pursue a business model that goes beyond convention, crossing over industrial boundaries together. They will be doing this collaborative product production by bringing technologies that represent each company’s strength while cooperating in other areas possible. The BEV platform to be developed will be such that it can be applied to the making of multiple vehicle types like the C-segment class, D-segment class saloon cars and SUVs as well.

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