BMW and Peugeot in joint hybrid technologies venture

2 Feb 2011

BMW Group and PSA Peugeot Citroën have set up a 50-50 equity joint venture called BMW Peugeot Citroën Electrification to focus on developing and producing hybrid components for the electrification of their vehicle ranges from 2014 and to help the European industry to structure itself in the hybridisation field.

The agreement was signed yesterday by Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the board of management of BMW AG, and Philippe Varin, chairman of the managing board of PSA Peugeot Citroën.

BMW Peugeot Citroën Electrification will focus on developing and producing hybrid components, including battery packs, e-machines, generators, power electronics and chargers, while also developing software for hybrid systems. The new hybrid components will equip both BMW and Peugeot’s vehicles from 2014 onwards.

The two companies say their goal is also to create an open European platform on those technologies that will help the European industry to structure itself in the field of hybridisation.

The joint venture, which is expected to to launch its operations in the second quarter of 2011, will both integrate suppliers by outsourcing development work and could sell hybrid components to other companies beside its two shareholders.

“This co-operative venture will enable us to achieve significant economies of scale in the field of electrification. It also represents an important step on the road to sustainable mobility,” said Reithofer.

“With this joint venture, we are sure to develop and expand our expertise and to build a European leader in the field of automotive hybrid innovation,” added Varin.

Just last October, BMW and Peugeot signed a Memorandum of Understanding designed to expand their existing co-operation to hybrid systems.

BMW Group and PSA Peugeot Citroën have been co-operating on engines for several years, building more than 1.8m units from 2006 to 2010.

In February 2010, the two companies agreed to develop the next generation of their jointly designed 4-cylinder petrol engine. The joint engine is currently built into a number of MINI, Peugeot and Citroën brand models.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic