Toyota teams up with 5 China partners to set up fuel cell system R&D JV

08, Jun. 2020

Hydrogen Station in China (Photo Courtesy of Toyota)
Hydrogen Station in China (Photo Courtesy of Toyota)

TOKYO, NNA - Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp. and five Chinese automakers have agreed to set up a joint venture to develop fuel cell systems for commercial vehicles, seeking to promote the development of hydrogen-based society in China.

The new company, United Fuel Cell System R&D (Beijing) Co., is expected to be established this year on a site of about 19,000 square meters with a total investment of 5.019 billion yen ($45.8 million), said a Toyota’s press release issued Friday last week.

The companies participating in the joint venture are China FAW Corp., Dongfeng Motor Corp., Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Beijing Automotive Group Co., Beijing SinoHytec Co., and Toyota.

“The six companies will engage in discussions to formulate product plans and create a single streamlined structure to develop a series of technologies,” the release said.

“By doing this, the lead time from development to commercialization will be substantially shortened,” it added.

The technologies to be developed jointly will include FC (fuel cell) stacks that meet performance needs in China and FC system controls that support those components and vehicle installation.

Toyota, which manufactures hydrogen fuel cell car Mirai, will own 65 percent of the new company while Beijing SinoHytec, which develops fuel-cell buses, will hold a 15 percent stake. The remaining four companies will each have a 5 percent stake.

The joint venture plans to hire about 50 staffers and double the workers in stages, according to the press release.