Toyota is partnering with China’s BYD to bring drivers a more affordable electric car set to launch next year. According to Reuters reports, the new partnership will bring a “small and affordable electric sedan” to life and, by affordable, we mean a US$30,000 price point.
Multiple sources revealed, “Toyota Motor Corp will launch an all-electric small sedan in China late next year, having turned to local partner BYD for key technology to finally make an affordable yet roomy runaround.”
This marks an important move for Toyota, as the automaker has received some criticism for being slow to ramp up its electric vehicle development, due to its long-standing focus on hydrogen fuel cells and hybrid vehicles. Not only that, but Toyota recently came under fire for actively lobbying against efforts made by the US government to increase EV development.
The new electric sedan will reportedly by powered by BYD’s blade battery cells with LFP chemistry, and will be slightly bigger than the Toyota Corolla. Sources also noted that it is BYD’s battery technology that is enabling Toyota to resolve challenges they had formerly come up against when considering the development and production of an affordable electric sedan that still offers a comfortable, roomy interior.
The new EV is expected to be unveiled in April at the Beijing auto show, and will become the second BZ electric car from Toyota.