By Ronan Glon
Tuesday, Oct 25th, 2011 @ 10:31 am
 
PSA Peugeot Citroën and BMW announced that they were planning to set up a new 50-50 joint-venture a little over a year ago. The two companies spent the last several months going through the necessary government regulations and formalities and finally announced the beginning of their partnership today.

The joint-venture is called BMW Peugeot Citroën Electrification. As its name implies, its main purpose will be to develop and build components for hybrid and electric drivetrains that will find their way in both BMW and PSA vehicles. The group also wants to launch an open technology platform that will enable them to sell components to third parties.

The two partners have invested over 100 million euros in a research and development facility in Munich, Germany, and in a production plant in Mulhouse, France. When all is said and done, the two centers will create approximate 650 new jobs.

BMW Peugeot Citroën Electrification aims to design and build everything that is necessary for an electric car to operate. This includes electric motors, generators, high-voltage batteries and so on. The first components of the joint-venture will find their way into production vehicles starting in 2015.

The two companies have been collaborating since 2002 when they started developing the Prince engine, a gasoline-powered four-cylinder available with a displacement of 1.4 and 1.6 liters. Prince engines are found under the hood of Citroën's C3 and DS3, Peugeot's 207 and 308 and the MINI Cooper, just to name a few. Over 1.8 million of them have been produced so far.

The collaboration between the two has worked so well that last year, they decided to renew the agreement for the next generation of Prince engines.