Leading Japanese automaker Toyota’s battery-making subsidiary will build its fourth hybrid vehicle battery plant in China, as the Chinese government expands its incentives for low-emission vehicles, according to Nikkei Asian Review.
The new plant, which will be built in 2021, will produce about 100,000 batteries a year, boosting the total capacity in China to approximately 400,000 units.
Primearth EV Energy Co., Ltd., which produces nickel-metal hydride batteries for hybrids at a joint-venture factory in China’s Jiangsu Province, is 80.5% owned by Toyota. Panasonic Corp., formerly known as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., owns the remaining stake.
The Chinese government has been promoting new energy vehicles, a catch-all phrase to describe electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Gasoline-electric hybrids are not classified as new energy vehicles, but the Chinese government is looking at including them as new energy vehicles. Hybrid vehicles, unlike electric vehicles, do not require dedicated infrastructure, and thus, could become more mainstream easily.
Recently, Toyota announced that it will give free access to its hybrid-vehicle patents through 2030, so as to expand the use of this lower-emission technology. Toyota’s Prius is one of the world’s most popular gasoline-hybrid vehicles.