The next step for automobile batteries is air. Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) and Germany’s BMW Group (ETR: BMW) are collaborating to develop “lithium-air” batteries.
They’ve been doing this since late 2011 and hope to have a prototype fuel-cell vehicle system ready by 2020. A concept midsize SUV is expected by the end of 2013.
The lithium-air battery technology would draw on oxygen, constantly present in air, to incorporate it into the energy generation process.
The joint effort does not, however, involve any merging of capital, although the two intend to cover as broad a range of green auto technologies as possible.
From the Huffington Post:
"We really share the same vision," he [BMW AG board member Herbert Diess]said at a news conference in Nagoya, central Japan, live-streamed at Toyota's Tokyo office.
It isn’t the first such association of forces by major automakers to come up with radical new technologies. PSA Peugeot Citroen, for example has a parts purchase and services agreement with General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and a small car development agreement with Toyota.