Toyota, Mazda and drivetrain component manufacturer Denso have agreed to create a new company that will focus on developing desirable electric cars based on the Prius’ chassis.
Called EV C.A. Spirit Co Ltd (mmm, catchy), the company will work behind the scenes on research and development from its base in Nagoya, Japan, rather than building cars with its own name badge.
Toyota will be contributing its Toyota New Global Architecture to the mix, which allows for modular manufacture and maximum production flexibility. Denso will bring its extensive experience with electrics and electronics. Mazda, meanwhile, will be using its advanced computer modelling techniques to help speed the design and engineering processes along.
There will be equal numbers of engineers from each company, at least to begin with, and we’re told that the financial commitment will be the same from each firm, too. Another point of note is that the three founding brands say that they’d like other manufacturers and suppliers to join the party as things progress.
Interestingly, the three partner companies say they want to work together to avoid the ‘commoditisation’ of electric cars, which sounds a lot to us like they’re trying to make cars people like us can at least be interested in.
In separate, but related news, Lexus has said it will skip plug-in hybrids altogether and move straight from full hybrids to electric cars and fuel cell vehicles. Technologies developed by EV C.A. Spirit Co Ltd (we may have to just shorten that to EV Spirit) could help Lexus build its first fully electric car.