The 2012 Toyota Tundra.

The 2012 Toyota Tundra. Credit: Handout

Toyota will aggressively push forward its hybrid technology in both cars and trucks, according to Automotive News.

As reported in late August, Ford and Toyota have formed a partnership to develop hybrid technology for their full-size pickup trucks mostly because of strict EPA fuel economy regulations coming in 2025. Both automakers said they agreed to have some kind of product for sale by the end of the decade, but it looks like Toyota might be thinking about delivering something to market before that deadline.

At the Tokyo Motor Show, Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota's global research and development chief, said the automaker is somewhat behind in direct injection and advanced transmissions because of the company's commitment to hybrid technology; however, other partnerships recently announced -- namely a memorandum of cooperation with BMW regarding diesel technology, among other things -- could help close the gap.

Next year, Toyota expects to finish a prototype hybrid pickup system it is developing with Ford, Uchiyamada said. Toyota hopes to use the system in the Tundra full-size pickup, but the technology could also be applied to the smaller Tacoma or other full-size SUVs. Of course, Ford will also use the technology in its large pickups.

There's no doubt Ford and Toyota are pushing up their timelines in response to the new Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups due to debut in 2014. Likewise, we've heard speculators say a new family of powertrains -- including a next-generation two-mode hybrid system -- is likely to debut with the new platform as well.

In the meantime, hybrid technologies look like the easiest way for all the big truck makers to chip away at more aggressive fuel economy requirements coming in the next decade.

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