TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. and BMW Group are working together on next-generation batteries for green vehicles called "lithium-air" as their collaboration, first announced in late 2011, moves ahead in fuel cells, sports vehicles and other fields.
But both sides said Thursday the partnership will not involve a capital alliance while spanning a wide range of technologies for green vehicles.
The Japanese and German automakers aim to complete a fuel-cell vehicle system by 2020, and a concept for a mid-size sports vehicle by the end of this year. They will also work together on developing lightweight technologies such as composites, which will help make cars greener.
Joint research will be started to develop a lithium-air battery, which will be more powerful than the current lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles, they said. The technology, which other automakers are also working on, will allow a major part of the battery's energy-making process to come from the oxygen in air.
BMW AG board member Herbert Diess told reporters the cooperation will help both companies boost competitiveness in new technologies.