BMW looking to Toyota for hybrid tech?

BMW and Toyota are said to have reached an agreement that will see the Japanese automaker supplying its German competitor with drivetrain and lithium ion battery systems for hybrid and fuel cell vehicles.

The agreement comes in response to a joint-venture the two launched about six months ago that will see BMW supplying Toyota with small diesel engines in about 18 months.

BMW has been actively seeking a way to build and market less expensive hybrids than its more performance-oriented offerings and it has yet to be a significant player in the fuel cell segment. Toyota, meanwhile, has long looked to increase production of its hybrid components in an effort to lower its costs.

Toyota has licensed its hybrid technology to other automakers, but it has never shared its fuel cell technology.

Japan's Nikkei business daily says that BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer and Toyota chief Akio Toyoda will make a joint announcement later this week.

BMW has also been working with France's PSA, the builder of Peugeot and Citroen vehicles, to create small hybrid powertrains. But PSA's recent, increasingly expansive tie-up with General Motors has put its relationship with BMW on the rocks.

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