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GM And BMW To Partner On Green Tech

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On: Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 4:41PM | By: Chris Weiss

GM And BMW To Partner On Green Tech

Green technology is a multifaceted challenge facing automakers today. With governments tightening emissions restrictions, automakers must find a way to make cleaner cars. But with green technologies like batteries and hybrid systems expensive to develop and not necessarily all that fast to catch on in the market, green technology R&D is a major investment that won't necessarily pay off for years.

One of the strategies many automakers are using in cleaning their fleets in a cost-effective manner is teaming up with other automakers and pooling research dollars. The latest partners are GM and BMW.

GM and BMW have each been innovators in their own respective ways. GM put the first mass-produced series hybrid to market last year in the form of the Chevy Volt, and plans to develop a Cadillac version of the range-extender. BMW has commited to building a whole line of green vehicles, including the i8 (Vision EfficientDynamics) and i3 electric city car. Both automakers also make efficient engines—Ecotec engines for GM and diesel and turbo engine technology at BMW. So each partner shows up to the table with something to offer.

According to Forbes, GM is looking to partner with BMW toward sharing clean engine technologies. The partnership is expected to be a tradeoff of GM's experience in electric, range-extending powertrains and fuel cells for BMW's diesel and small gas engine expertise. The partnership will help the two companies in meeting fuel economy mandates like the 54.5 mpg by 2025 mandate in the United States.

Last month, Ford and Toyota announced a similar partnership aimed at developing hybrid SUVs and pickup trucks. The two automakers will develop a rear-wheel hybrid platform to be integrated into their respective vehicles.

Expect to see more of these across-the-ocean partnerships in the future.


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