Toyota is deepening its partnership with BMW by agreeing to supply the German automaker with hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell technology. The companies first partnered in December of last year with BMW supplying Toyota with small diesel engines for the European market in exchange for Toyota’s lithium-ion hybrid systems and research.
According to reports from Germany’s Der Spiegel and Japan’s Nikkei business news, BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer and Toyota CEO Akio Toyotda will make an announcement this week regarding the expanded partnership. Toyota said it could not comment on the partnership beyond the announcements made in December and March.
The partnership was announced in December, and in March the two companies signed a formal agreement that left room to expand its partnership in green technologies. The agreement is for battery research and allows Toyota to increase its production of costly battery systems. It also stipulated that BMW is to supply Toyota with diesel engines beginning in 2014.
This expanded partnership will be the first time Toyota shares its hydrogen technology with a rival automaker. However, the company sold its hybrid systems to Nissan for the Altima hybrid in the past. BMW is also part of a hybrid technology partnership that at one time encompassed Mercedes, GM, and Chrysler Group as members.