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BMW Says It’s Talking With GM on Fuel-Cell Vehicle Technology

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the world’s largest maker of luxury cars, says it’s in talks with General Motors Co. about cooperating on fuel-cell technology.

“We are exploring various topics related to future technologies such as fuel cells,” Mathias Schmidt, a spokesman for the Munich-based carmaker, said today by phone. He declined to comment on the timing of an agreement.

Fuel cells generate electricity in the chemical reaction that combines hydrogen and oxygen to create water. BMW has largely ignored the technology in the past, focusing research on burning liquid hydrogen in a combustion engine. Daimler AG, the world’s third-biggest luxury-vehicle manufacturer, plans to introduce a fuel-cell-powered version of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class compact by 2014.

The talks between BMW and Detroit-based GM were reported Dec. 10 by Germany’s WirtschaftsWoche magazine, which said the carmakers are close to signing a deal as early as January.

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