Jaguar Land Rover and the BMW Group have announced plans to join forces and develop next-generation electric drive units.

In a joint statement, the two firms said the venture would focus on electric drive units (EDUs). Joining forces will, of course, allow the companies to share research and development costs as well as product planning thanks to improved economies of scale.

The EDUs will be co-developed by engineers from the two firms, but each will tweak the characteristics to suit their respective ranges of products. Production will also take place at each automaker's own facilities.

"The transition to ACES [Autonomous, Connected, Electric, Shared] represents the greatest technological shift in the automotive industry in a generation. The pace of change and consumer interest in electrified vehicles is gathering real momentum and it’s essential we work across industry to advance the technologies required to deliver this exciting future," said Nick Rogers, Jaguar Land Rover engineering director.

“We’ve proven we can build world beating electric cars but now we need to scale the technology to support the next generation of Jaguar and Land Rover products. It was clear from discussions with BMW Group that both companies’ requirements for next generation EDUs to support this transition have significant overlap making for a mutually beneficial collaboration,” he added.

Klaus Fröhlich, member of the board of management of BMW responsible for development, said the automotive industry was “undergoing a steep transformation”.

“We see collaboration as a key for success, also in the field of electrification. With Jaguar Land Rover, we found a partner whose requirements for the future generation of electric drive units significantly match ours. Together, we have the opportunity to cater more effectively for customer needs by shortening development time and bringing vehicles and state-of-the-art technologies more rapidly to market,” Fröhlich said.