Toyota has taken a major lead in the creation of hybrids, leaving their competitors scrambling to catch up. As we heard late last year, BMW, DaimlerChrysler and General Motors have banded together to create some technology to compete with and surpass Toyota’s hybrid machines.
Now we hear that the three companies are spending over $1 billion to develop a two-mode hybrid transmission and the systems needed to interact with it. The actual transmission is expected to cost the 3 partners $300 million, while the rest of the money will go towards integrating the new transmission with the other components in a vehicle.
500 engineers have been working on the project for the last 18 months. It’s not clear if the $1 billion price tag includes what has been spent already, or if that is money spending yet to come.
GM plans to use the technology in Tahoe and Yukon SUVs available at the end of 2007, while DaimlerChrysler hopes to stick it in the 2008 Dodge Durango. BMW has not made specific plans yet.