BMW AG intends to work with Toyota Motor Corp. on research into lithium-ion batteries for electric cars, reported Reuters on Tuesday citing a source familiar with the situation. During the weekend, the two companies have been reported to be in discussion for a partnership on "green" automobiles wherein BMW will provide the Japanese automaker with diesel engines in exchange for hybrid technology.
On Monday, a spokesperson for BMW told Automotive News Europe commented that they "don't comment on media speculation."
Toyota also stated that the reports were "speculation." According to media reports, the details of the partnership are anticipated to be revealed in the middle of this week. On Tuesday, Toyota publicized a plug-in Prius hybrid vehicle with high-capacity lithium-ion batteries in advance of the Tokyo Motor Show, flaunting it as the most practical green automobile in the world.
With depleting fossil fuels, rising price of crude oil and more stringent laws governing greenhouse gases, automakers around the world are forced to roll out new zero-emission vehicles that can run fully on electricity. Since the cost of acquiring an electric vehicle is twice as a conventional vehicle powered by a combustion engine, researchers are looking for a way to create lighter and cheaper lithium-ion batteries.