One Size Fits All?
So far, Daimler has developed its own hybrid drivetrain technology. See, for example, the Mercedes S400 hybrid, which has the distinction of being the first mass-produced hybrid with a lithium-ion battery pack. But that might be about to change, according to the Nikkan Jidosha newspaper in Japan. It is claimed that Daimler and Toyota are currently negotiating a deal to license Toyota's hybrid tech.
The world's top automaker will consider providing Daimler with motors and batteries in addition to technology, upon the request of the German carmaker, according to the evening edition of the Nikkei business daily.
If they strike a deal, Daimler will be the fourth automaker receiving Toyota's hybrid parts and technology following Ford, Nissan and Mazda. (source)
They companies haven't said exactly why they would be doing this, but we can take a few guesses: From Toyota's point of view, this is reducing the cost of all the hybrid R&D; that they've been doing and increasing economies of scale. They can also no doubt sell their techs and parts at a premium compared to what they cost them. From Daimler's point if view, it probably makes sense to spend the money on a proven technology rather than sink a lot more money in R&D.; Maybe the S400 hybrid drivetrain isn't as flexible as Toyota's drivetrain and can't be as easily used in much smaller cars like the Mercedes A Class?
In any case, this should be good for consumers and the environment; If it helps fund Toyota's R&D; and further reduce the costs of hybrid drivetrains, in the end, it should mean fewer smog-forming emissions and less CO2 emissions.
Via AFP, Reuters
More on Hybrid Cars
The Lexus CT 200h Hybrid Disappoints on MPG (Wake Up Toyota!)
California To Extend Carpool-Lane Access To 40,000 Plug-In Hybrids
Honda to Debut Fit Hybrid Next Month in Paris