Today Ford Motor Company and Toyota Motor Corporation announced a new joint venture. The two companies will be joining forces to develop a new hybrid system designed for use in rear-wheel drive light trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs). The future hybrid system will be used in vehicles released in the latter part of this decade.

Before today’s announcement, each automaker was working on separate rear-wheel drive hybrid systems. However, the companies realized that by working together, they could bring this new hybrid technology to customers sooner than if they continued to work on separate systems. When released, the new full hybrid system will allow rear-wheel drive light trucks and SUVs to achieve greater fuel efficiency levels.

“By working together, we will be able to serve our customers with the very best affordable, advanced powertrains, delivering even better fuel economy,” said Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally. “This is the kind of collaborative effort that is required to address the big global challenges of energy independence and environmental sustainability.” Source: Toyota

Although the technology will be developed in a collaborative environment, each automaker will implement the new hybrid systems separately. This separate implementation will allow the automakers to individually fine tune the system for each distinct automotive platform.