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Is the Prius V not big enough for you? Then you'll probably be interested to learn that Ford and Toyota announced a new partnership today to develop a new hybrid system for SUVs and light trucks. The "equal partners" deal should result in a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain that will be ready "later this decade" – in other words, in time for the higher CAFE standards that the U.S. just announced.

In an interview with Japanese media last week, Ford CEO Alan Mullaly indicated that he would like to see increasing technology alliances with Toyota. Ford already licenses hybrid technology patents from Toyota that is used in the Escape/Mariner hybrids. Because of the cost of developing advanced alternative power-train technology, Ford would like to cooperate with Toyota on areas like hybrids and fuel cells. Mullaly met with Toyota Chairman Fujio Cho shortly after taking the top job in Dearborn