Toyota and Mazda have reached an agreement under which Toyota will license hybrid technology for use by Mazda.

Leveraging this agreement, Mazda plans to combine the hybrid system with its next-generation SKY1 engine that is currently under development, and develop and manufacture a hybrid vehicle in Japan. Mazda is aiming to commence sales of a hybrid vehicle starting in Japan by 2013.

Based on its long-term vision for technology development, ‘Sustainable Zoom-Zoom’, Mazda aims to increase the average fuel economy of Mazda vehicles sold globally by 30 percent by 2015, compared to its 2008 level.

Mazda says that it is implementing a ‘Building Block Strategy’. Under this strategy, Mazda will enhance the core aspects of its vehicles — including engines, transmissions and weight reduction — and then progressively add electric devices such as idling stop, regenerative braking and hybrid systems.

Toyota, which makes the best-selling Prius hybrid, has already provided its hybrid technology and parts to Nissan and Ford. Toyota and Fuji Heavy Industries (owner of Subaru) are also jointly developing hybrids.