Volkswagen is among the founding members of an alliance of German industries which have joined together to develop high-performance batteries for both stationary and vehicle use.

The project was presented during the Innovation Congress in Berlin with the theme 'one year of high-tech strategy - new perspectives for Germany' which was initiated by the federal ministry for education and research.

The alliance - the other companies are Basf, Bosch, Evonik Degussa, Li-Tec, Steag Saar Energie - have suggested a common start on a lithium-ion initiative to the German federal minister for education and research, Annette Schavan.

The goal is to increase substantially the energy and performance density of the batteries and to accelerate their possible use in production.

VW group research chief Juergen Leohold said: "In the future, there will be parallel use of various automotive drive systems, all the way to purely electric drive. A high-performance lithium-ion battery as the energy carrier will be a key technology. Therefore, it is sensible and necessary to combine the potentials for the research and development of this battery in an alliance for innovation. This way, synergies can be exploited and the development accelerated.

"For Volkswagen, this initiative is an important step on the way to zero-emission operation of vehicles."

The partners will invest around EUR360m in this project in future years. Germany's federal ministry for education and research will provide an extra EUR60m.