On the 24th of January 2013, BMW and Toyota signed a binding agreement in Nagoya,Japan that follows up on the MOU signed in June 2012 and that of December 2011 where BMW agreed to provide Toyota with highly efficient diesel engines. The are four distinct elements of the agreement as outlined in the title.
1. Fuel Cell System by 2020
Not unlike the recently signed agreement between Daimler,Nissan and Ford BMW and Toyota have also committed to working together to jointly develop a fundamental fuel-cell vehicle system, including not only a fuel cell stack and system, but also a hydrogen tank, motor and battery, aiming for completion in 2020. The companies will also be involved in jointly developing codes and standards for the hydrogen infrastructure.
2. Sport Vehicle Platform
If Subaru and Toyota can make something as jaw droppingly fantastic as the GT-86, we can’t wait to find out what a BMW Toyota collaboration will bring. The companies have agreed to set-up a feasibility study to define a joint platform concept for a mid-size sports vehicle that is to be completed by the end of 2013.
3. Lightweight technology
The agreement also commits the companies to jointly develop lightweight technologies for vehicle bodies using reinforced composites and the like. This technology will be used in the sports vehicle platform to be jointly developed by the two brands.
4. Lithium-air technology with greater energy density
The current crop of electric cars with lithium-ion batteries have been held back from reaching the masses due to the limited range of the Li-Ion batteries. The BMW Toyota collaboration will work to develop a lithium-air battery with energy density much higher than that of current lithium-ion batteries.
Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG said: “TMC and the BMW Group share the same strategic vision of future sustainable mobility. In light of the technological changes ahead, the entire automotive industry faces tremendous challenges, which we also regard as an opportunity. This collaboration is an important building block in keeping both companies on a successful course in the future.”
Akio Toyoda, President of TMC said: “It is just over a year since we signed our collaborative MoU, and with each day as our relationship strengthens, we feel acutely that we are making steadfast progress. Now, we are entering the phase that promises the fruit. While placing importance on what we learn from the joint development, we will work hard together in reaching our common goal of making ever-better cars.”