Toyota to supply hybrid and fuel-cell vehicle technology to BMW image

Toyota Motor Corp, Japan’s largest carmaker for the first time will share its technologies for hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles under a planned alliance with Germany’s BMW.

The announcement comes after BMW’s joint venture to make hybrid car components with French auto maker PSA Peugeot Citroen was thrown into doubt by the prospect of deepening ties between PSA and its European rival Opel, a division of General Motors.

Toyota did not immediately confirm the report.

BMW, meanwhile, will provide its expertise on light car bodies made from carbon fibre to Toyota, as cutting a car’s weight leads to better fuel efficiency, the Nikkei said.

In December, the German premium carmaker agreed to supply diesel engines to Toyota from 2014 in Europe and collaborate on lithium-ion battery research for electric cars.

Toyota plans to put on sale by 2015 fuel cell-powered passenger cars that are called “supreme eco-cars” because their power sources are hydrogen and oxygen and they emit only water.

Demand for lower-emission diesel vehicles is forecast to grow, with further technological advances in the field seen as crucial due to toughening vehicle emissions standards.