Toyota and BYD will partner to develop BEVs for the Chinese market, the two companies announced Thursday. 

The automakers will invest 50-50 in a new company, the primary mission of which will be to design and develop BEVs from the ground up. Staffing of the new company's engineering and R&D departments will come from the pool of existing Toyota and BYD talent. The new JV will be formed in 2020. 

BYD is the latest of several new EV bedfellows for Toyota, which has also announced a partnership with Panasonic and a broadened commitment with Subaru, increasing the likelihood that its joint venture with BYD will only have a direct impact on the Chinese market. 

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid - First Drive, Santa Barbara CA, Nov. 2019

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid - First Drive, Santa Barbara CA, Nov. 2019

Toyota's partnership with Subaru will play in both the BEV and autonomy spaces. The two are slated to develop an all-new EV platform that will underpin models from both manufacturers, with Subaru contributing its expertise in all-wheel drive and Toyota chipping in on the electrification side of the equation. 

With Panasonic, Toyota wants to produce battery packs and explore solid-state technology. As in the partnership with BYD, Toyota and Panasonic are establishing a joint venture. The batteries produced by this new operation will find their way not only into Toyotas, but into the cars they jointly develop with other partners. 

At the time the Panasonic deal was inked, that meant Mazda and the aforementioned Subaru. With Thursday's announcement, BYD may enjoy the added bonus of becoming yet another beneficiary of that arrangement

Toyota's global product roadmap calls for selling 5.5 million EVs over the course of the next decade, and additional tie-ups that produce new vehicles for its various brands will help propel the Japanese automaker from being the best known-purveyor of hybrid cars to a genuine contender in the EV field.