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April 28, 2010

GERMANY: Volkswagen mulls further battery development

Volkswagen is believed to be in talks with a Robert Bosch and Samsung joint venture to develop batteries for electric vehicles.

Volkswagen is believed to be in talks with a Robert Bosch and Samsung joint venture to develop batteries for electric vehicles.

The project, thought to be in tandem with LG Chem and reported in German media, cites VW head of brand development Ulrich Hackenberg as saying he wanted to see how different battery systems were developing.

“Mass-produced battery cells won’t be deliverable until about one or two years from now,” Hackenberg is quoted as saying.

The media reports add Volkswagen is working with several battery manufacturers, including Chinese automaker BYD, Japan-based Sanyo Electric and Toshiba.

Hackenberg is also quoted as noting it could increase its battery development with BYD “in the foreseeable future.”

Volkswagen said yesterday it would increase its investment in China by EUR1.6bn (US$2.1bn) with two new plants and other projects, as the company expanded its business in the world’s largest auto market.

Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said: “Growth in China has exceeded all expectations.”

The investment is in addition to the EUR4.4bn the carmaker committed last year to expand capacity and develop new products in China by 2012.

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