Toyota Sets Up Research Institute In China

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Today, the Toyota Motor Corp of Japan said that it was setting up a research institute in Beijing in partnership with Tsinghua University. The institute aims to study car technology using hydrogen power and other green technologies that could ease the environmental problems that are experienced in China.

The initiative was outlined by Akio Toyoda, the President and Chief Executive of Toyota, in a speech at Tsinghua University. A source close to Toyota said that it is considered to be a part of the efforts of the Japanese carmaker to share more technology with China as it endeavours to expand its business in the country by beefing up manufacturing capacity and distribution channels.

In a statement, Toyota said that the Tsinghua-Toyota Joint Research Institute will be conducting studies into cars and new technology in order to solve environmental problems in China, including reducing traffic accidents.

The company said that the institute will “cooperate in research not only related to cars for Chinese consumers but also in research related to active utilization of hydrogen energy that can help solve China’s energy problems.”

The move dovetails with the announcement of Toyota earlier this month that it would offer carmakers and suppliers across the globe free access to almost 24,000 patents for electric vehicle technologies.

In an interview with Reuter earlier this month, Shigeki Terashi, the Executive Vice President of the company, that the automaker intended to become a tier 2 supplier of hybrid systems and that it had already received some enquiries from more than 50 firms.