Toyota and BYD have signed an agreement to jointly develop battery electric vehicles, which will be launched in the Chinese market by the first half of the 2020s. The deal will see both companies work on producing sedans and low-floor SUV BEVs, as well as the batteries that will go into these vehicles and others.

According to an official release, “both companies believe there is a need to put aside their rivalry and collaborate” on BEVs, as a measure to curb global warming by reducing CO2 emissions. The knowledge gained from the partnership will then be applied on further models to promote the adoption of BEVs.

Electrification has been a core aspect of Toyota and BYD for many years, with the former being the first company in the world to launch mass production hybrid electrified vehicles (HEVs) with the Prius. However, full electric vehicles like the C-HR EV and Izoa have only recently been added to the Japanese carmaker’s line-up.

Meanwhile, BYD was founded in 1995 as a battery business, and has since grown into an energy solution company. Not only does BYD produce electrified vehicles (BEVs and PHEVs), it also makes large-size energy storage cells.

In 2008, the Chinese brand became the first company in the world to sell mass production. Since 2015 onwards, BYD’s sales of BEVs and PHEVs have been ranked first in the world for four consecutive years. The company has collaborated with other carmakers before, including with Daimler to make the Denza 500.