Fleet News

BMW and Toyota co-operation plans revealed

Toyota and BMW have signed binding agreements aimed at long-term collaboration between the two companies for the joint development future technologies and products.

It includes working together on a fuel cell system, joint development of architecture and components for a sports vehicle, and joint research and development of lightweight technologies.

BMW Group and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) also signed a binding agreement to commence collaborative research on lithium-air batteries, a post-lithium-battery alternative.

This agreement marks the second phase of collaborative research into next-generation lithium-ion battery cells that bega in March 2012.

Both will share their technologies to develop a fundamental fuel-cell vehicle system, including not only a fuel cell stack and system, but also a hydrogen tank, motor and battery, aiming for completion in 2020.

They will collaborate in jointly assessing hydrogen infrastructure development and in creating codes and standards necessary for the encouraging sales of fuel cell vehicles.

The companies agreed to set-up a feasibility study to define a joint platform concept for a mid-size sports vehicle that is to be completed by the end of 2013.

They are to jointly develop lightweight technologies for vehicle bodies using cutting-edge materials such as reinforced composites, with an eye to utilise these technologies in cooperation on the development of a jointly developed sports-vehicle platform as well as other BMW and TMC vehicles.

They will begin joint research with a goal to develop a lithium-air battery with energy density greatly exceeding that of current lithium-ion batteries.

Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the board of management of BMW AG said: "TMC and the BMW Group share the same strategic vision of future sustainable mobility. In light of the technological changes ahead, the entire automotive industry faces tremendous challenges, which we also regard as an opportunity. This collaboration is an important building block in keeping both companies on a successful course in the future."

Akio Toyoda, president of TMC said: "It is just over a year since we signed our collaborative MoU, and with each day as our relationship strengthens, we feel acutely that we are making steadfast progress. Now, we are entering the phase that promises the fruit. While placing importance on what we learn from the joint development, we will work hard together in reaching our common goal of making ever-better cars."


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