BMW and Toyota to deepen their collaboration
Following the Memorandum of Understanding last June, the Toyota Motor Corporation and the BMW Group have announced the signing of a binding agreement that refers to the joint development of both new technologies as well as a new sports car.
Both the Chairman of BMW and the President of Toyota have expressed their mutual satisfaction with the signing of this agreement as well as sharing their belief that their partnership will prove to be beneficial to both their respective group and help them to produce better products.
This deal, which is expected to significantly increase the level of cooperation between the two car-making power-houses revolves around four main points, which we’ll talk about right now.
A Fuel Cell System
The two partners believe that fuel cell technology is definitely one of the solutions for zero emission vehicles. As part of this agreement they will share their respective technologies in this field in order to better develop a more complete fuel-cell vehicle system, which will comprise of not just the fuel cell stack but also the hydrogen battery, motor and tank. This project has a target date of 2020.
A Sports Vehicle
The automakers have also agreed to start a feasibility study in regards to the development of a joint platform for a mid-size sports vehicle – the study is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.
The general aim for this point is to reduce the body-weight of vehicles through the use of new lightweight materials, such as reinforced composites. The materials or technologies that they’ll be working on will be developed with the goal to utilize them in the mid-size sports car mentioned earlier, and of course future BMW and Toyota vehicles.
Post-lithium-ion Battery Technology
The two groups are planning to begin a new joint research project to develop a lithium-air battery capable of sporting a much greater energy density than the current-technology lithium-ion batteries.
Considering how fuel-cell-powered vehicles are at least a decade away and this lithium-air battery project is just about to start, by far the most interesting and most close-at-hand deadline is the 2013 one set for the new sports car platform project.
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