Following the partnership between Mazda and Toyota in August, the manufacturers announce plans to work with Denso Corp. to develop electric vehicle technology.
Electric vehicles have been a constant theme in the news in 2017. With growing fuel costs, and increasing concerns about the emissions standards of traditional combustion engines, governments and car manufacturers alike have been looking for an alternative long-term solution. Several governments have laid out plans for either an outright ban or aim to end sales of petrol and diesel vehicles within the next 20-25 years, including key markets like the U.K., France, China, India, Norway and Japan.
In response, most manufacturers, including Mazda, have been quick to lay out their long-term sustainability plans showing that they will be ready for the end of petrol and diesel engines in line with global targets. In their long-term ‘Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030′ announcement, Mazda outlined plans to introduce electric vehicles into their range in 2019. And while manufacturers are still investing in the development other technology such as of hydrogen fuel cells, it’s clear that most are putting their weight behind electric vehicles. This was made clear at last month’s Frankfurt Motorshow, where the majority of brands were putting their electric vehicle technologies front and centre.
Introducing EV Common Architecture Spirit Co. Ltd.
It is in this context that Mazda and Toyota have announced their plans to expand on their existing partnership to develop a plethora of electric vehicle architecture and technology to help the two manufacturers catch up in the electric vehicle race. They have also brought parts distributor Denso into the fold, and have left the door open for other manufacturers and suppliers to join them in their venture.
Previously, both car manufacturers have limited their research and development of electric technology. Toyota has been focusing their efforts on hydrogen fuel cells, and Mazda has been hard at work on their compression petrol engine.
While this new company is majority owned by Toyota, who has a 90% stake, all three companies will provide engineering expertise, and both Mazda and Toyota will have free access to the technologies developed to use as the foundation of their own electric vehicles. But by pooling their resources and expertise, both companies will be able to share the high costs associated with electric vehicle technology and R&D without having to compromise on the time invested. For Mazda, who make up a mere 4.1% of the market share in Japan, the partnership helps them afford the necessary R&D funding. And for Toyota, they gain access to the innovative engineering expertise at Mazda.