From: Associated Press
Published December 13, 2004 12:00 AM

DaimlerChrysler, GM to Team Up on Hybrid Engines

BERLIN — General Motors Corp. and DaimlerChrysler AG, two of the world's biggest automakers, are teaming up to develop hybrid technology, which combines combustion engines and electric motors, for use in their vehicles, DaimlerChrysler said Monday.


GM, the world's largest automaker, and its German-U.S. rival have signed a memorandum of understanding. A detailed agreement is expected early next year, the statement said.


No financial details were disclosed.


Hybrid cars have both a gasoline engine and an electric motor and can switch between the two to save gas and reduce pollution.


Demand for hybrids has grown worldwide due to concerns about the dangers of global warming and decreasing natural fuel supplies.


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Several new hybrid models are being introduced in the United States for the 2005 model year. They include the Ford Escape SUV and the Honda Accord sedan.


Toyota, Japan's top automaker, launched the world's first commercial hybrid vehicle -- the Prius sedan -- in 1997, and has since sold more than 200,000 hybrid vehicles worldwide. Toyota has also licensed hybrid technology to Ford.


GM plans to launch hybrid technology in 2007 in its Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon full-size sport utility vehicles.


"Our planned cooperation will draw on the technical expertise of two of the largest auto companies in the world," DaimlerChrysler board member Thomas Weber said in a news release. "The result is expected to be a series of strong hybrid propulsion systems that will serve as a solution for our alternative powertrain needs."


The planned project will be open to other partners and may result in GM and DaimlerChrysler licensing hybrid technology to rivals, the statement said.


Source: Associated Press


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