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Toyota, BMW work on new batteries

TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp. and BMW Group are working together on next-generation batteries for green vehicles called ‘‘lithium-air’’ as their collaboration, first disclosed in late 2011, moves ahead in fuel cells, sports vehicles, and other fields.

But both sides said Thursday the partnership will not involve a capital alliance.

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The Japanese and German automakers aim to complete a fuel-cell vehicle system by 2020, and a concept for a midsize sports vehicle by the end of this year. They will also work together on developing lightweight technologies such as composites, which will help make cars greener.

Joint research will be started to develop a lithium-air battery, which will be more powerful than the current lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles, they said. The technology, which other automakers are also working on, will allow a major part of the battery’s energy making process to come from the oxygen in air.

BMW, known for its strong design and sporty cars, could be a good match for Toyota, reputed for innovation and solid engineering but sometimes criticized as making dull cars.

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