Toyota Motor is teaming up with five Chinese companies, including Beijing Automobile Group Co. and China FAW Corp., to develop fuel cells for commercial vehicles, seeking to push deeper into China and the market for the alternate energy source, according to Bloomberg.
The other joint venture partners are Beijing SinoHytec Co., Dongfeng Motor Corp., and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., the companies said Friday. The new Beijing-based entity, which will be 65% owned by Toyota, will be called United Fuel Cell System R&D and start with an initial investment of 5 billion yen ($46 million).
Toyota has been one of the biggest backers of fuel cells among global automakers, betting that they can become a source of energy for electric vehicles on par or even better than batteries. The new partnership underscores Toyota’s continued interest in fuel cells, especially for commercial applications such as buses and trucks. Annual sales of fuel cells are on track to reach 1 million vehicles by 2035, according to BloombergNEF, driven by the growth of buses and commercial vehicles, mainly in China, Korea, Japan, and Europe.
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