BMW, Toyota team up again

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: January 24, 2013 3:09 pm ET
Updated: January 24, 2013 3:11 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Automotive
Companies & Associations BMW AG, Toyota Motor Corp.

MUNICH, GERMANY -- Automakers Toyota Motor Corp. and BMW AG have agreed to combine forces to develop fuel-cell and lightweight-vehicle technologies for fuel-cell-powered cars.

In an agreement signed Jan. 24 in Munich, the companies said part of that co-development would focus on lightweight technologies for vehicle bodies, "using cutting-edge materials such as reinforced composites."

Those technologies could be used both on a jointly developed sports car or other BMW and Toyota cars.

Munich-based BMW has been in the forefront of developing carbon-fiber composites for the auto industry, with a proprietary process that will be used on its own i-series electric cars. The BMW i3 is slated to hit the market later this year, to be followed by the i8.

Toyota, based in Toyota City, Japan, has been in the lead of using fuel cells to power an electric drivetrain. It has test vehicles already on the road, and has announced plans to sell a fuel-cell sedan in limited markets in 2015. Fuel-cell stacks use a variety of thermoplastic and thermoset materials, including the film at the heart of every cell.

"[Toyota] and the BMW Group share the same strategic vision of future sustainable mobility," said Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the BMW board of management, in a press release. "In light of the technological changes ahead, the entire automotive industry faces tremendous challenges, which we also regard as an opportunity.

"This collaboration is an important building block in keeping both companies on a successful course in the future."

Toyota and BMW previously signed a memorandum of understanding to work together in other lightweight-vehicle developments. The new agreement takes the process further, covering four key development areas: fuel cells, a sports car platform, lightweight materials and "post lithium-ion battery" technology.

In fuel cells, the companies will take aim not only at a fuel-cell stack, but also a tank to hold hydrogen used to power those cells. They will jointly develop the codes and standards needed in a hydrogen infrastructure to place hydrogen fuel stations where needed.

A feasibility study will be conducted this year on a joint platform for a midsize sports vehicle, which will include the lightweight technologies and composites study.

In addition, the firms agreed to combine research on a future battery system called a "lithium air battery" that promises a higher energy density than current systems. A lithium air system uses a different chemistry than the mix in a lithium-ion battery, and also uses air from the surrounding environment.

"We are entering the phase [under the agreement] that promises the fruit," said Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota. "While placing importance on what we learn from the joint development, we will work hard together in reaching our common goal of making ever-better cars."


Comments

BMW, Toyota team up again

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: January 24, 2013 3:09 pm ET
Updated: January 24, 2013 3:11 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Brown signs California's plastic bag ban into law

September 30, 2014 1:38 pm ET

Gov. Jerry Brown (D) made it official today: plastic bags are banned across the entire state of California.    More

Image

New Hexcel plant will supply carbon fiber for Airbus A350 XWB

September 30, 2014 2:43 pm ET

Hexcel Corp. is investing $250 million on a new carbon fiber plant in France, with part of the production going into the future Airbus SAS A350 XWB.    More

Image

LyondellBasell CEO Gallogly to retire

September 30, 2014 3:00 pm ET

James Gallogly, CEO of Houston-based polyolefins producer LyondellBasell Industries NV, on Sept. 29 announced plans to retire in 2015.    More

Image

Ohio molder Denbro Plastics moves to new location

September 29, 2014 6:17 pm ET

Logo products injection molder Denbro Plastics Co. has moved to another plant within Toledo, Ohio, to streamline production and improve efficiency.    More

Image

Asahi Kasei breaks ground on Alabama compounding plant

September 29, 2014 5:39 pm ET

Asahi Kasei Plastics North America will be able to solve two problems at once with a new compounding plant in Athens, Ala.    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our industry analysis highlights macro industry trends and micro trends faced by companies that do business in Mexico. The report also provides key industry statistics and forecasts to anticipate future industry expansion.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events