Toyota Motor Corp. inks an agreement with Mazda Motor Corp. to license its hybrid-electric vehicle technology to the Hiroshima, Japan-based auto maker.

Mazda says it plans to combine the technology used in Toyota’s Prius HEV with its next-generation SKY engines, currently under development.

Mazda at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show unveiled its SKY-G direct-injection-gasoline engine and SKY-D clean diesel engine, as well as the SKY Drive automatic transmission.

The SKY engines and transmission, scheduled to be introduced in 2011, are part of Mazda’s goal to increase the average fuel economy of its global lineup 30% by 2015, compared with its 2008 level.

It is unclear whether Mazda intends to mate Toyota’s technology to the gas or diesel SKY engine.

Mazda says it is aiming to begin sales of its HEV in Japan by 2013.

“Hybrids are spreading fast in Japan and launching a model in the domestic market has become an urgent task,” Mazda Executive Vice President Masaharu Yamaki is quoted as saying at a news conference in Tokyo.

“That is one of the reasons why we decided to seek this agreement with Toyota,” he says.

Toyota in a statement says it is considering licensing requests for its latest-generation HEV technology from other auto makers, noting it recognizes the benefits the widespread implementation of the system could have on the environment.

Financial terms of the agreement between Toyota and Mazda have not been disclosed.