Electric vehicles are taking the world by storm and most of the automobile manufacturers are looking for ways of getting and implementing this technology. Chinese automaker Singulato is licensing Toyota’s electric vehicle technology to create their new iC3.
Electric Cars: Taking a Chance on Chinese Startup
Last month, Toyota entered into a deal to sell some of their electric car technology to Chinese startup Singulato. This move is to initiate the completion of Singulato’s planned mini EV city cruiser, the iC3. The iC3 is based on Toyota’s short-lived eQ design.The iC3 is expected to begin production by 2021.
“This deal gives us a way to save on time and costs to develop a reliable car and focus on what we excel in,” Singulato Chief Executive Shen Haiyin told Reuters.
Reuters reported that this Chinese startup company will make use of Toyota’s eQ technology to facilitate the development of their own electric machine. While Toyota’s eQ was a tiny electric car that ended up with a range of only 38 miles, the iC3 is expected to perform much better, though still be a primarily city shuttle.
Toyota will get more than just cash from this deal. The company will have rights to purchase green-car credits that the Chinese startup will generate under China’s new quota system for all advanced technological vehicles. Toyota will as well gain a better view into how Chinese electric vehicles startups operate. Toyota also wants to have a bird’s eye on all the strategies that EV startups pursue in the market.
Financial terms appear to be kept tightly undercover. A Singulato source told Reuters that the startup agreed to pay “several tens of millions of dollars” for eQ’s design.
Electric Cars: Old Dog, New Tricks
This new deal with Singulato will give Toyota a great opportunity to learn a few tricks from one of the hottest newcomers in the industry.
“With electrification, autonomous driving and car-sharing shaking up the industry, old ways need to be re-examined,” a Toyota source told Reuters. “We have a century’s lead in automotive technology, but we also need to be humble enough to learn from newcomers.”
Singulato was founded in 2014 and has made tremendous leaps to achieve market share. This deal between the two companies is seen by some as a vote of confidence by Toyota. Singulato also receives backing from Intel Corp and Japanese trading house Itochu Corp. The automaker is one of the 50 Chinese EV startups that have sprung up in recent years. They are closely competing with startups such as Nio, WM Motors and several others from the global market.
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