Daimler could sell lithium-ion batteries from its new joint venture with Evonik to third parties, in direct competition with suppliers such as Bosch.

The company’s head of development, Thomas Weber, told Handelsblatt third party sales were being considered in the medium term.

Daimler announced a strategic alliance with Evonik in December to set up a 90-10 joint venture company to manufacture and sell the batteries.

The company could compete with Bosch, which formed an alliance for lithium-ion batteries with South Korea’s Samsung last summer, and with Nissan, which has an alliance with Japan’s NEC to invest at least US$1.1m in such batteries.