2011 BMW Group - Toyota collaboration speech (Takeshi Uchiyamada)
Takeshi Uchiyamada, Executive Vice President of Toyota Motor Corporation
I thank you all for joining us today for this very important and exciting announcement.
We at Toyota have long focused on creating technologies for making cars greener, safer, and more fun to drive. You can see that focus in the models that we are showing here at the motor show for example: the Prius PHV, which we will soon launch the Aqua, a new compact hybrid and the Hachi-roku, a pure sports car.
Meanwhile, vehicle ownership is growing rapidly in the world's emerging economies. That increases the importance of minimizing environmental impact and optimizing energy management.
We at Toyota think that we will need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels in powering automobiles. So, we are promoting the use of hybrid technology.
We have sold more than three-point-four million hybrid vehicles since we launched the first-generation Prius in nineteen ninety-seven. We estimate that those vehicles have reduced consumption of petroleum fuels by eight million kiloliters and that they have reduced output of carbon dioxide by twenty-three million tons.
We will also make efforts to replace petroleum fuel by tapping the potential of electricity, biofuel, hydrogen, and other alternative energies. And we at Toyota are exploring possibilities across a full range of technologies.
The battery technology that we will develop with BMW will be the core technology for both reducing and replacing petroleum fuel.
We at Toyota are already using lithium-ion batteries in hybrids and plug-in hybrids, but it is necessary for us to further improve these lithium-ion batteries.
We have chosen to work with BMW in this area first. German manufacturers have accumulated a great deal of excellent fundamental technology in regard to renewable energies and battery power. BMW is a good example of German attainment in those technological sectors. We think that this collaboration will allow for development of next-generation batteries to be done faster and to a higher level. We think that another factor for the realization of this collaboration was that BMW showed interest in our battery technology.
Next-generation lithium-ion battery power could allow for powering cars with clean energy from solar cells and from wind turbines. It could even allow for integrating cars into intelligent power grids for optimizing power supply and demand. That would be a new step forward in fulfilling the traditional Toyota commitment to contribute to society through quality automobiles.
To touch upon the other area of collaboration, it is clear that BMW has superior strength in clean diesel technology. Diesel engines from BMW will strengthen our product line in Europe. You will hear more about that subject from Mr. Leroy.
Regarding areas apart from the two I have raised, we would like to discuss other possible collaborative projects.
We have always thought there is a lot to learn from Europe's automotive culture and from the European tradition of automotive engineering. BMW is a premium brand that represents that culture and tradition, and we hope to learn a great deal through this mid-to-long term collaboration.