According to a report in Japan's Daily Yomiuri newspaper, Toyota is willing to give General Motors access to its hybrid technology, free of charge. Why in the world would they do that, you ask? Apparently, Toyota doesn't want to see the crucial American market weaken any further and would benefit from the exchange by having its Hybrid Synergy Drive become the standard hybrid technology all over the world.

It's also believed that this gesture could help smooth over tensions between Americans and Japan as the U.S. automakers have been hit harder in the economic crisis. Further, the report suggests that Toyota believes GM has fallen too far behind on hybrid technology after spending the past few years working feverishly on hydrogen fuel cells.

So, is there any truth to this rumor? Don't bet on it. General Motors has already developed multiple hybrid powertrain technologies, including the sophisticated 2-Mode system that was jointly designed with Daimler, BMW and Chrysler. Plus, as you're surely aware by now, GM has put all of its eggs in the Voltec range-extended electric vehicle basket and believes this is the best way moving to power its vehicles in the short term.

[Source: Daily Yomiuri via GM-Volt.com]

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