Toyota, Daimler mull fuel-cell cooperation -report

TOKYO, May 26 (BestGrowthStock) – Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: )
and Germany’s Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE: ) plan extensive cooperation in
the field of fuel cells for electric cars, the Financial Times
Deutschland reported, citing unidentified sources.

The partnership could take the form of a joint venture, the
paper said.

A Toyota spokesman said the automaker had no new cooperation
deal to announce now. Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars,
was not immediately available for comment.

Most major automakers are working on developing affordable
hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles as an environmentally friendly
alternative to today’s combustion engine cars as they emit only
water vapour and have a long cruising range, unlike battery-run
electric cars.

The biggest hurdle has been the high cost of fuel cells,
which require heavy use of platinum and other pricey metals to
produce electricity.

Automakers including Daimler, Toyota, General Motors Co
[GM.UL], Ford Motor Co (F.N: ), Honda Motor Co (7267.T: ), Nissan
Motor Co (7201.T: ) and Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS: ) agreed last
year to work together wherever possible to promote the spread of
fuel-cell cars from 2015.

“The high development costs associated with trying to bring
fuel-cell powertrain technology to production means that it is a
highly logical step for Daimler and Toyota to try and share the
costs and their extensive knowledge in fuel-cell technology,” Tim
Urquhart, an analyst at IHS Global Insight, wrote in a report.

He noted that Daimler had already invested $1.23 billion in
fuel-cell technology since it began its programme in 1994, while
Toyota has been developing the technology since 1992.

Toyota and Honda became the world’s first automakers to put
hydrogen fuel-cell cars on the road in 2002.

Toyota, the world’s biggest automaker, last week said it
would invest in Tesla Motors Inc to cooperate with the California
start-up in the development of electric cars. Daimler also holds
a minor stake in Tesla. [ID:nN20235111]

Toyota said then that there were no other joint projects
being discussed with other automakers.

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(Reporting by Yumiko Nishitani and Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by
Chris Gallagher)

Toyota, Daimler mull fuel-cell cooperation -report