Last year BMW and Toyota signed a memorandum of understanding concerning a long-term collaboration on sustainable energy technologies. On Tuesday, both car companies announced they will now work together on developing new lithium ion batteries.
The main focus of the research will be optimizing the performance of the lithium ion battery and increasing the capacity of the battery cells through the use of new combinations of materials.
Battery development is right in Toyota’s wheelhouse due to its years of experience in the hybrid car field. BMW’s big contribution is its extremely efficient 1.6 and 2.0-liter diesel engines.
While no other details of the agreement have been offered, it is believed that lithium-air technology is the next logical step for battery development. Lithium-air batteries are smaller, lighter and have much higher power densities than current lithium ion batteries. Should these new batteries get developed to the point of commonplace installation, electric cars could more than double their current ranges.