BMW and Toyota: researching batteries together, sharing diesel engines

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Derek loves nothing more than punching a remote location into a GPS, queuing up some music and heading out on a long drive, so it's a good thing he's in charge of CNET Australia's Car Tech channel.

Toyota and BMW have announced an agreement today to begin working together on the next generation of Lithium-ion battery technology. Additionally, BMW will begin supplying Toyota with diesel engines.

Fruit from both parts of today's memorandum of understanding will take time to mature, however.

The two companies' future hybrids and electric vehicles will feature the Lithium-ion batteries from their joint research and development. As planning and the division of labour has only just begun, it could be quite a while before we get a chance to drive or buy these electrified BMW and Toyota vehicles.

Both BMW and Toyota will also begin investigating other work they can do together.

As far as seeing BMW engines powering Toyotas, Australian buyers need not get their knickers in a knot just yet. At the present time the agreement only covers the supply of BMW's 1.6- and 2-litre turbo-diesel engines for use in Toyotas sold in Europe from 2014 onwards, with the initial focus being on cars built there.

Derek Fung travelled to the Tokyo Motor Show as a guest of Toyota Australia.

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