Toyota Motor has started buying hybrid car electric motors from Hitachi to help meet surging demand for the fuel-efficient vehicles, The Hindustan Times said, citing a report in the Nihon Keizai business daily.

Rising petrol prices have spurred demand for hybrids and Toyota’s own capacity for parts is likely to fall short of demand in the medium- to long-term, the paper said.

Toyota reportedly has signed a contract with Hitachi to buy electric motors despite Hitachi’s traditionally close ties with Nissan Motor the Nihon Keizai said.

Hitachi is supplying rear motors for Toyota’s hybrid Harrier (aka Lexus RX400h) hybrid and Kluger (Highlander) the report said.

The Japanese newspaper noted that the deal with Hitachi is Toyota’s first purchase of a key hybrid car component from a non-group firm, and also marks Toyota’s first large-scale business dealing with Hitachi.