In yet another example of two major automotive companies joining forces for the sake of CO2 reduction, BMW and Toyota announced a joint research collaboration that will tackle the problems of "next-generation environmental-friendly technologies." What, exactly, does that mean? For starters, the two carmakers will work together on improving lithium-ion battery technology--the cells that power most EV and hybrid vehicles on the market today. Also, as detailed in the press release below, BMW will lend 1.6L and 2.0L diesel engines to Toyota's European division starting in 2014.

Toyota has shown a willingness to partner up with the likes of Ford and Tesla on green car initiatives, an area where Toyota themselves are seen as industry leaders due to the success of the Toyota Prius hybrid. So, besides diesel tech and a rich heritage, what does BMW bring to the table?

"Toyota is the leading provider of environment-friendly series technology in the volume segment and the BMW Group is the most innovative and sustainable manufacturer of premium automobiles," said Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW.

We'd venture to guess that it could also have something to do with BMW's new EV-focused BMWi brand. To date, BMWi is nothing more than a few concept vehicles, but the German carmaker is clearly serious about expanding their fuel-saving horizons. More on that Monday...
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BMW Group and Toyota Agree to Mid-to-long-term Research Collaboration in Environment-friendly Technologies

01.12.2011 UPDATE
BMW Group to Supply 1.6L and 2.0L BMW Fuel Efficient Diesel Engines to Toyota Motor

Tokio/München. BMW Group and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announce that they today 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 agreed on a collaborative research in the field of next-generation lithium-ion battery technologies. Furthermore, they 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. Through this agreement, Toyota plans to expand its European lineup and sales of fuel-efficient, low CO2-emission diesel-powered vehicles.

Marking the announcement, Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, said: "Toyota is the leading provider of environment-friendly series technology in the volume segment and the BMW Group is the most innovative and sustainable manufacturer of premium automobiles. We are now joining forces to further develop environment-friendly technologies and to expand our innovation leadership in each of our segments. Supplying Toyota with our fuel efficient and dynamic diesel engines represents another important step in the planned expansion of our sales activities for engines and powertrain systems."

Representing TMC, President Akio Toyoda said: "It is a great joy and a thrill to enter into this mid-to-long-term collaborative relationship with BMW, a company with its own culture and history from its many years of car manufacturing in Europe, and a company that makes cars that are fun to drive. In the spirit of contributing to furthering the development of the auto industry and society, both companies will bring their wide-ranging knowledge - starting with that concerning environmental technologies - to the table and make ever-better cars."

The press conference will be broadcast live on the internet and will continue to be available at:
English: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/toyota-en
Japanese: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/toyota-jp

The corresponding press release and speeches from Toyota are available at
www.toyota-global.com and http://corporatemedia.toyota.eu


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