The Financial Times Deutschland reports the two companies and could give impetus to the alternative drive. Already, both automakers are among the main promoters of the technology.

With Toyota’s recently announced plan to invest $50 million in Tesla Motors following that company’s IPO (earlier post), both companies would also be investors in that electric vehicle company. Daimler took a 10% stake in Tesla last year. (Earlier post.)

Toyota started research in 1992 on fuel cell vehicles; Daimler started in 1994. Estimates peg both companies’s investment in the technology to date at more than €1 billion apiece, according to the report. Both companies are planning to introduce fuel cell vehicles to the market in 2015.