BMW Group and Toyota agree to mid-to-long-term research collaboration in next-generation Li-ion batteries; BMW to supply 1.6L and 2.0L diesel engines to Toyota Europe
1 December 2011
BMW Group and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) concerning a mid-to-long-term collaboration on next-generation environment-friendly technologies. Under the MOU, the two companies will collaborate on research in the field of next-generation lithium-ion battery cell technologies. The companies also have agreed to identify and discuss other possible collaborative projects.
In addition, Toyota Motor Europe (TME), TMC’s European subsidiary, and BMW Group have entered into a contract under which BMW Group is to supply 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter diesel engines to TME starting in 2014. The engines will be installed in certain Toyota-produced vehicles planned for sale in the European market.
The battery technology that we will develop with BMW will be the core technology for both reducing and replacing petroleum fuel. We at Toyota are already using lithium-ion batteries in hybrids and plug-in hybrids, but it is necessary for us to further improve these lithium-ion batteries. We have chosen to work with BMW in this area first. German manufacturers have accumulated a great deal of excellent fundamental technology in regard to renewable energies and battery power. BMW is a good example of German attainment in those technological sectors. We think that this collaboration will allow for development of next-generation batteries to be done faster and to a higher level. We think that another factor for the realization of this collaboration was that BMW showed interest in our battery technology.
Next-generation lithium-ion battery power could allow for powering cars with clean energy from solar cells and from wind turbines. It could even allow for integrating cars into intelligent power grids for optimizing power supply and demand. That would be a new step forward in fulfilling the traditional Toyota commitment to contribute to society through quality automobiles.—Takeshi Uchiyamada, Executive Vice President, Toyota Motor Corporation
Uchiyamada noted that Toyota has sold more than 3.4 million hybrid vehicles since it launched the first-generation Prius in 1997.
This marks BMW’s first partnership with a Japanese car company, said Dr. Klaus Draeger, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development, at a joint press conference announcing the partnership in Tokyo.
Battery technology is crucial for the future of hybrid technology—but also for the future of individual mobility. Whoever has the best batteries in terms of function, cost, and quality in their vehicles will win more customers. We want to set benchmarks in the future with both: hybrid and electric cars.
It clearly makes sense for experienced and innovative companies to pool their expertise and power with such future-orientated technologies. Toyota and the BMW Group are perfect partners: Toyota is the most sustainable and experienced producer in the high-volume segment. And Japan, of course, is the country that has made hybrid cars well known around the globe. The BMW Group is the most innovative and sustainable producer in the premium segment. It offers its customers especially powerful, extremely fuel-efficient engines—thanks to Efficient Dynamics.—Klaus Draeger
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