The two car marques will work as equal partners to co-develop a hybrid system for the larger, rear-wheel drive vehicles, to increase their fuel efficiency.
Toyota is the global lead in hybrid sales, including the best-selling Prius hybrid car, and was named the world’s “greenest brand” by Interbrand earlier this year. Ford is one of the leading sellers of pickup trucks, predominantly sold in the US and Canada.
The range of hybrid trucks will be available by 2020. Details about the cost and scope of the collaboration have yet to be confirmed.
Toyota’s vice president for research and development, Takeshi Uchiyamada, says that the creation of the hybrids will help both companies meet the strict US fuel economy standards that are set to be enforced in the coming years and reduce the time it would have taken to design the system alone.
Ford’s head of product development, Derrick Kuzak, says: “This agreement brings together the capability of two global leaders in hybrid vehicles and hybrid technology to develop a better solution more quickly and affordably.”
The firms have also agreed to work on a standard set of practices for in-car phone, navigation and entertainment systems.
Ford recently announced its move further towards on board digital services, by scrapping CD players in its latest Focus range in a bid to shift to an “all digital in car entertainment offering”.