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BMW And Toyota Expand Alliance To Co-Develop Lithium Ion Technology

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On: Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 10:42AM | By: Chris Weiss


BMW And Toyota Expand Alliance To Co-Develop Lithium Ion Technology

BMW and Toyota announced this week that they've begun research first announced in December.  The two companies are researching next-generation lithium-ion battery technology for use in electric vehicles and hybrids.

On December 1, the two automakers announced that BMW would supply 1.6 and 2.0-liter diesel engines to Toyota. The parties also mentioned their plans to work on battery technology at that time.

In this week's press release, the parties say that they have started the battery research and plan to focus on "increasing the performance and capacity of lithium-ion battery cells through the use of new combinations of materials for cathodes, anodes and electrolytes."

Increasing battery capacity is one of the biggest challenges of electric vehicle development. If batteries could hold enough charge to offer two to three times the paltry ranges that current EVs offer, electric cars could begin to compete against gas vehicles. But battery technology limits the range of current generation mainstream EVs to 100 miles or less, greatly reducing their appeal and usefulness. Hopefully, partnerships like this one will hasten the speed of battery development.

Both BMW and Toyota are preparing to launch their first electric cars. Toyota plans to bring the RAV4 EV and Scion iQ EV to market later this year. BMW will debut the i3 electric city car and i8 plug-in hybrid sports car next year. Toyota will also launch its first plug-in hybrid this year in the Prius Plug-In.

PRESS RELEASE:

BMW Group and Toyota Sign Lithium-ion Battery Collaborative Research Agreement

Toyota City, Mar 27, 2012 (JCN Newswire via COMTEX) -- BMW Group and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announce that they have signed an agreement on collaborative research in the field of next-generation lithium-ion battery cells and have begun said research. The agreement follows the memorandum of understanding concerning a mid-to-long-term collaboration on next-generation environment-friendly vehicles and technologies announced by the two companies on December 1, 2011.

The research project being undertaken under the agreement is focusing on increasing the performance and capacity of lithium-ion battery cells through the use of new combinations of materials for cathodes, anodes and electrolytes.

In addition to the collaborative research agreement between BMW Group and TMC, Toyota Motor Europe (TME), TMC's European subsidiary, and BMW Group entered into a contract - also announced on December 1, 2011 - under which BMW Group is to supply highly efficient 1.6 liter and 2.0 liter diesel engines to TME starting in 2014.

About Toyota

Supported by people around the world, Toyota Motor Corporation TM +1.53% , has endeavored since its establishment in 1937 to serve society by creating better products. As of the end of March 2011, Toyota conducts its business worldwide with 50 overseas manufacturing companies in 26 countries and regions. Toyota's vehicles are sold in more than 170 countries and regions. Toyota's vehicles are sold in more than 170 countries and regions. For more information, please visit www.toyota-global.com .

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