Toyota and BMW Finalizing Agreement to License Fuel-Cell Technology

By Jacob Brown | January 23, 2013
Having signed a memorandum of agreement last year, BMW is now finalizing its deal with Toyota to license the Japanese giant's hydrogen fuel-cell technology for a future car. Believed by some to be the expensive option of our fantasies and others to be a viable fuel for powering cars, hydrogen can be converted into electricity with the only emission being water. It's a quick-fill gas that makes more sense in the real world than simply plugging in a car and letting it charge for hours on end. BMW partnered up with Toyota to bring hydrogen fuel-cell technology to its cars by 2015, in prototype form, and have them on roads by 2020. Coincidentally, California will have as many as 68 hydrogen stations operational in metropolitan areas by then, and Toyota will have its first mass-market hydrogen cars on the road by then, too. Works out well for testing the infrastructure.
As part of the agreement, BMW will also supply Toyota with diesel engines for European markets, tailoring to both of the companies' strengths. BMW has a large line of diesel engines for rear-wheel-drive applications and a few smaller engines that it uses in Mini Cooper and its upcoming front-wheel-drive models. BMW would also help Toyota develop a future sports car, which could signal the return of the storied Supra nameplate. While neither company has issued an official statement saying anything more than they're in talks with one another, the details leaked out are fascinating. We're eager to see how they pan out over the next few years. Source: Reuters via Automotive News (Subscription required)