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Toyota, BMW working on new battery technology

By Yuri Kageyama

AP Business Writer

LAST UPDATED: 05:29 a.m. HST, Jan 24, 2013

TOKYO » Toyota Motor Corp. and BMW Group are working together on next-generation batteries for green vehicles called "lithium-air" as their collaboration, first announced in late 2011, moves ahead in fuel cells, sports vehicles and other fields.

But both sides said today the partnership will not involve a capital alliance while spanning a wide range of technologies for green vehicles.

The Japanese and German automakers aim to complete a fuel-cell vehicle system by 2020, and a concept for a mid-size sports vehicle by the end of this year. They will also work together on developing lightweight technologies such as composites, which will help make cars greener.

Joint research will be started to develop a lithium-air battery, which will be more powerful than the current lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles, they said. The technology, which other automakers are also working on, will allow a major part of the battery's energy-making process to come from the oxygen in air.

BMW AG board member Herbert Diess told reporters the cooperation will help both companies boost competitiveness in new technologies.

"We really share the same vision," he said at a news conference in Nagoya, central Japan, live-streamed at Toyota's Tokyo office.

Toyota Vice Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada said working with BMW will allow for a much faster development as they pool their resources.

He said the companies share a corporate culture and they have built trust over the last year. An agreement to work on technologies together was signed in June last year.

BMW, known for its strong design and sporty cars, could be a good match for Toyota, reputed for innovation and solid engineering but sometimes criticized as making dull cars.

Global automakers are forging such partnerships to become more competitive.

French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen and General Motors Co. of the U.S. have a deal to share in purchases of parts and services to cut costs. Toyota already has a joint venture with Peugeot Citroen to make small cars in Europe.

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serious wrote:
Tell Boeing about it, if it works!!!
on January 24,2013 | 04:44AM
allie wrote:
love the toyota camry
on January 24,2013 | 07:43AM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
I hope they take the technology to market before the oil companies buys out the technology. A more powerful battery was created in the 90's that could have taken all gas cars off the road. But in 1994 Texaco, Chevron and GM bought and deep sixed the battery patents which left automotive manufacturers bulky, hard-to-recharge, out dated batteries.
on January 24,2013 | 08:03AM
oxtail01 wrote:
Darn, there actually ARE people like you who actually believe in such nonsense. WHY in the world would these companies not bring to market such technology that would make them the RICHEST companies in the world? None of the companies you mentioned are wedded to any product - they're all wedded to making money. If they could make money inventing d.....mmies like you they would!
on January 24,2013 | 08:19AM
awahana wrote:
Meh. Too little, too late.
Two car makers I will no longer repeat purchase. There are much more exciting, honest, and desirable car makers today.
They are like buying a IBM and HP computer in 2013...
on January 24,2013 | 11:08AM
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