BMW and Toyota Sign Agreements to Collaborate on Battery and Lightweighting Technologies

January 24, 2013

<p>Excecutives from BMW Group and Toyota have signed binding agreements to develop a range of new technologies. Photo courtesy BMW Group.</p>

BMW Group and Toyota Motor Corp. have signed binding agreements to collaborate on a number of technologies, including new battery technology, a fuel cell system, lightweight materials, and a joint platform concept for a mid-size sports vehicle that the automakers said will be complete by the end of 2013. These new agreements follow a memorandum of understanding that the companies signed in June, 2012.

For the battery technology, the companies have described what they are working on as “post-lithium,” with the goal of developing a lithium-air battery with an energy density that exceeds that of current lithium-ion batteries.

Regarding fuel cell technology, the companies said they believe its development is necessary to achieve “zero e missions.” The companies plan to share their technologies and jointly develop a “fundamental” fuel-cell vehicle system, including a fuel cell system stack, hydrogen tank, motor, and battery. The companies plan to complete this project by 2020.

As for the companies’ other plans, they plan to use the lightweight materials technology they are developing for vehicle bodies (one example of this technology is reinforced composites) in future vehicles, for example the mid-size sports vehicle concept slated for completion by the end of 2013.