BMW and Toyota Develop Lithium-Air Batteries image

Toyota and BMW join forces to develop next-generation batteries for EVs called ‘lithium-air’, a partnership announced at the end of 2011.

Toyota and BMW plan to complete a concept for a mid-size sports car by the end of 2013 and a fuel-cell vehicle system by 2020. The two automakers will also collaborate to develop lightweight technologies, composites for example, which will help make vehicles greener. The lithium-air battery will allow a major part of the energy-making process to come from the oxygen in air and will also be more powerful than the existing lithium-ion batteries.

BMW AG board member Herbert Diess said that this partnership will help both automakers to increase competitiveness in new technologies. Toyota Vice Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada declared that the cooperation with BMW will offer the company the possibility to develop faster. Analysts believe that the partnership between the two companies is a good match as BMW brings its sporty cars and strong design, while Toyota offers its solid engineering and innovation.

Toyota and BMW rivals Nissan Motor Co, Renault and Daimler are already working on various joint projects, sharing engines and other technologies to save on research and development costs that are increasing with the need to meet stricter environmental regulations.