While FCA was unable to finalize a merger with Renault to help its electric car efforts, Toyota was able to secure a partnership with Subaru to help with a new electric car platform.
Granted, this partnership is nowhere near the level of a merger, but it seems like every automaker is scrambling to find help from others in this time of transition. Toyota themselves even stated that we are in “the midst of a once-in-a-century period of profound transformation.”
The automotive industry is in the midst of a once-in-a-century 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.
The two will be working on a battery electric vehicle (BEV) platform that will be able to be used for both C- and D-segment sedans and SUVs. C- and D-segment vehicles make up a large majority of cars on the road today, and cars of this size include the Toyota Corolla, Camry, and RAV4. All-in-all, a platform with a very broad use case.
In addition to the platform itself, the two will be working on a C-segment-class BEV SUV that will be sold under each company’s brand with possible subtle styling changes made for each brand.
Toyota sees Subaru’s expertise in all-wheel drive technologies as a critical factor in the partnership.
By combining their respective strengths, such as the all-wheel-drive technologies that Subaru has cultivated over many years and the vehicle electrification technologies that Toyota is employing to bring together other companies that share its aspirations, the two companies intend to take up the challenge of creating attractive products with appeal that only BEVs can offer.
This is not the first time that the two companies have collaborated together, as they have joined forces to create the Toyota FR-S/Subaru BRZ. Additionally Toyota had provided the battery technology for Subaru’s Crosstrek plug-in hybrid. The two companies seemed to have developed a good working chemistry and so there should not be many issues with the development of the electric car platform.
It’s nice to see that Toyota is showing some effort towards electrification, especially given how borderline dismissive they have been towards the outlook of electric cars. Also, it is nice to see Subaru get into the game as there has been almost no news from them regarding electric vehicles.
There has been no time table regarding the release of the upcoming electric SUV, but given development is in its infancy, don’t expect it for another 2-3 years.
What do you guys think of the partnership and the new electric car platform? Let us know down in the comments below.