Following their agreement earlier this year, Toyota and BMW are pushing ahead with their agreement to share hybrid powertrains. According to Automotive News, an announcement is coming this week that BMW will buy Toyota's hybrid and hydrogen-power technology.
In December of last year, Toyota and BMW agreed that the German automaker would provide Toyota with its 1.6- and 2.0-liter diesel engines for use in European-market vehicles. Then, in March, the two companies inked a deal to collaborate on the research and development of future lithium-ion batteries – the kind of batteries used for hybrid and electric vehicles.
Now, according to AN, the two companies have moved forward with Toyota supplying a version of its successful Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) hybrid system to BMW. The powertrain sharing will give BMW an already-developed hybrid system for use in its cars and will, in turn, help Toyota with economies of scale with production of the hybrid system. Automotive News is also reporting that Toyota will also supply BMW with its hydrogen fuel cell technology; however, Toyota has yet to introduce a hydrogen-powered car for sale to date. BMW used to sell a hydrogen-powered version of its 7 Series sedan, the Hydrogen7, but that car didn't use a fuel cell stack for power -- instead, its internal combustion engine was modified to burn hydrogen instead of gasoline.
AN says that the official announcement of the powertrain-sharing agreement will be announced later this week, but does not indicate what BMW models may use Toyota's HSD system. 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 3 and ActiveHybrid 5 sedans should go on sale later this year, and the automaker already sells the ActiveHybrid 750i sedan. The ActiveHybrid 750i uses BMW's 4.4-liter turbocharged V-8 paired to an eight-speed automatic and an electric motor drawing on a lithium-ion battery pack; the smaller 3 and 5 Series hybrids will instead use a 3.0-liter turbocharged I-6 paired with a similar electric drive system.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)