BMW and Toyota have partnered to build hydrogen-powered cars by 2015 in an effort to bring alternative fuel vehicles to the market. In fact, the Bavarians are soon to bring out the i8 and i3, both among the more advanced cars in the EV/plug-in hybrid niche.
“In light of the technological changes ahead, the entire automotive industry faces tremendous challenges, which we also regard as an opportunity. This collaboration is an important building block in keeping both companies on a successful course in the future,” Norbert Reithofer, BMW’s chairman of the board of management, said in a statement.
BMW even experimented with hydrogen as a fuel for internal-combustion engines. But as disappointing sales of electric cars have led to many automakers to turn their attention to hydrogen fuel cells, the car maker doesn’t want to be late to the game this time. The German automaker has entered into an agreement with Toyota to gain access to the company’s hydrogen technology.
But for all of BMW’s work in alternative fuels, this will mostly be Toyota’s funded game.
Toyota recently debuted their FCV-R concept, a hydrogen fuel cell car which looks mostly like a Prius but with a concept-y front fascia. Past reports from Toyota have shown a reluctance to enter the battery electric car fray, choosing instead to focus on the more usable technology in hybrids and fuel cells.
There is no official word yet, but technology is likely to be the only thing shared between the two companies. BMW certainly hasn’t shown any interest in captive imports since the Isetta became a fully BMW model in 1955. The good news is that the science and auto technology is coming from an industry leader.
Toyota plans to bring out a production hydrogen car in 2015, and through its access to that same technology, BMW will bring out its own model the same year.