Toyota Motor Corporation has agreed to sell electric car technology to the Chinese startup company, Singulato. It will be their first deal with a Chinese electric vehicle startup. This is in a bid to allow the firm to speed up the development of a mini electric vehicle (EV).
Singulato will generate green-car credits under China’s new quota system for all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Toyota will, in turn, have preferential rights to purchase the credits.
CEO of Singulato Shen Haiyin said this will put more clarity on how Chinese EV start-ups operate. It will also illuminate the strategies that they pursue in taking over the market. The start-up will also acquire a license to use the design of Toyota’s battery electric microcar, eQ.
At the Shanghai auto show on Tuesday 16th April 2019, Singulato will announce and unveil the car concept based on the eQ. However, the company plans to redesign the car to align with local tastes. It will come up with a model that is more affordable and with longer driving range by early 2021.
Singulato reportedly agreed to pay an undisclosed amount that runs into several tens of millions of dollars for the eQ design.
Furthermore, Toyota says it will take various measures to accelerate its business in China. The Japanese company did not comment on any specifics though.
Singulato, founded in 2014, is one of about 50 Chinese EV startups in the highly competitive market. Backing the company is Intel Corp and Japanese trading house Itochu Corp.
They plan to sell their first self-developed battery electric car in 2019. The iS6 will compete with models from rival startups and global car makers.