BMW Group and Toyota Motor Corp. signed binding agreements last week on a major green technology joint venture. To meeting their strategic target of developing advanced technologies to power clean vehicles, the two global automakers . Fuel cell vehicles are playing the leading role in the project…
Designing components for fuel cell vehicles – Toyota and BMW say they believe fuel-cell cars will play a key role in the push to eliminate harmful auto emissions. The cost and size of fuel-cell stacks is coming down, while the driving ranges are growing longer. The joint venture between the two companies includes development of a fuel-cell vehicle system, including the fuel cell stack, hydrogen tank, motor and battery by 2020.
Creating lightweight materials and technologies – BMW and Toyota have undertaken a feasibility study to define a joint platform for a mid-size sports vehicle that is to be completed by the end of 2013. They’ll also be exploring joint development of lightweight technologies.
Developing next-generation lithium batteries – expands the scope of the project a year after the two companies agreed to work together on lithium-ion batteries. Joint research will be done to develop a lithium-air battery with energy density greatly exceeding that of current lithium-ion batteries.
The growing partnership between the two automakers is bound to inspire other car companies to consider alliances to pool their resources, said Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of Edmunds.com. “Fuel-cell cars are a more elegant solution, and there’s real progress being made,” Anwyl said. “This battery issue may be a detour on the way to a fuel-cell future.”