Japanese auto giant Toyota said Thursday it was teaming up with Mazda and parts-maker Denso in a new joint venture to develop electric vehicles.
The move came as Toyota, producer of bestselling hybrid vehicle Prius, steps up efforts to develop clean technologies, including electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid systems that use both petrol and electricity as energy sources.
Joint research — sharing cost, engineers and knowledge — is necessary to meet increasingly stringent but varying environmental standards around the world, the three firms said in a joint statement.
“With (electric vehicles) yet to find widespread market acceptance, the huge investments and time required to cover all markets and vehicle segments is a pressing issue for individual automakers,” the statement said.
Toyota will take a 90-percent stake in the venture, to be launched next month in the central city of Nagoya, near the automaker’s headquarters.
Toyota and Mazda agreed in August to a capital tie-up to facilitate joint development of electric vehicles.