The Mirai is Toyota’s first mass market fuel-cell vehicle
The two Japanese manufacturers will share plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell technologies, reports say, as well as efficient engines
Neither company has confirmed the move but Reuters cites company sources as saying the partnership has been fuelled by rising development costs and the need to comply with increasingly strict emissions legislation.
As part of the new agreement, it is understood that Toyota will share its fuel cell and plug-in hybrid technology, while Mazda will supply its efficient range of SkyActiv engines.
Mazda is understood to have been exploring its own fuel cell vehicle for some time, while Toyota is on the cusp of bringing its own FCV model, the Mirai, to the UK later this year.
Sharing costs would benefit both brands, bringing economies of scale to what is currently a very expensive and emerging technology.
The bosses of both firms have previously made clear their desire to increase external partnerships.
At a business briefing last month, Mazda boss Masamichi Kogai said the company would “seek the wisdom of other makers” to access technologies – such as powertrain electrification – that it couldn’t attain on its own.
Meanwhile, Toyota president Akio Toyoda is understood to want his company to increase its cooperation with other manufacturers.
Rumours of Toyota sharing its hybrid technology stretch back to 2009, when the company was in talks with Mazda to supply technology found in the Prius.
Toyota already has an ongoing project with BMW, which will see new versions of the Supra and Z4 brought to market.
Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles has also recently called for the increased sharing of widely used components across the industry, claiming manufacturers could save billions by sharing more under-the-skin parts.
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