BMW, Toyota Confirm Hydrogen Fuel Cell, Technology Deals

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2011 Toyota FCV-R Concept

2011 Toyota FCV-R Concept

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BMW and Toyota have finalized a deal for the future of each automaker's hydrogen fuel cell technology.

The agreement will mean BMW licenses future fuel cell technology from Toyota, and marks the latest point in the two automakers' recent cooperations.

BMW will begin developing a prototype fuel cell vehicle in 2015, for the potential market release of a production car in 2020, says the Nikkei (via Automotive News).

The German luxury automaker has previously experimented with hydrogen in internal combustion engines, but is set to expand its portfolio with a fuel-cell vehicle--the likes of which Toyota has been continually developing for several years now.

Most recently, Toyota revealed the FCV-R concept. A midsize vehicle with a Prius-like silhouette (but typical concept car detailing), the FCV-R is touted for production some time in 2015. Range is said to be around 435 miles, and it would cost in the region of $50,000.

BMW's hydrogen vehicle will sit among a range of increasingly innovative efficient vehicles--including a three-cylinder turbocharged engine set to feature in the MINI and some smaller BMWs, the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, and the i3 electric car--which BMW recently confirmed will get a motorcycle engine-based range-extended option.

The fuel cell plan isn't the first time BMW and Toyota have signed a technology-sharing agreement. Previous deals include the sharing of diesel engine technology, and batteries with lithium-air technology, now confirmed by both manufacturers.

The deal will also include a sports car, likely to form the basis of the next Celica or Supra model, and next BMW Z4. The current agreement has finalized plans put in place after the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding in June last year.

As the world's biggest automaker works with the world's biggest luxury automaker, it could be exactly the push fuel cells need to become a realistic option--what cars would you like to see come from the deal? Leave your thoughts below.


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