Toyota Motor stated on Sunday it was establishing a research institute in Beijing in partnership with Tsinghua University to study car technology, most particularly hydrogen power and other green technologies that could ease environmental issues in China.
The initiative, presented by Toyota’s President and CEO Akio Toyoda in a speech at Tsinghua University, is part of the automaker’s efforts to share more technology with China as it looks forward to expand its business in the country by strengthening manufacturing capacity and distribution channels, a source familiar with the matter said.
The Tsinghua-Toyota Joint Research Institute will carry out research into cars and new technology to resolve environmental issues in China, including decrease in traffic accidents, Toyota said in a statement.
The institute will work together “in research not only associated with cars for Chinese consumers, but also in research related to active utilization of hydrogen energy that can help solve China’s energy issues,” the company stated.
The move matches with Toyota’s announcement this month that it would offer automakers and providers across the world free access to almost 24,000 patents for electric vehicle technologies.
Executive Vice President Shigeki Terashi informed Reuters previously this month that the automaker aims to become a tier 2 supplier of hybrid systems and that it had already got inquiries from over 50 companies.
Later on Monday, Toyota stated that it had started to provide fuel cell vehicle parts to Chinese commercial automaker Foton and SinoHytec, without providing financial details of the deal.
The company stated that it hopes to work with more companies in China to promote fuel cell vehicle penetration in China.