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Monday, May 25, 2009

BYD and VW partner on Electric Vehicle battery development

Volkswagen and Chinese automaker BYD signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the options for partnership in the area of hybrids and electric vehicles powered by lithium batteries. The agreement was signed by Volkswagen AG Chairman of the Board of Management, Dr. Martin Winterkorn and BYD founder and Chairman, Wang Chuanfu, last week during a BYD visit to Volkswagen.

BYD are one of the worlds leading li-ion battery producers for the cell phone industry and were the first auto company to start selling a plug in hybrid car. VW's motives on the other hand are a bit more mysterious as it was Dr Winterkorn himself who said earlier this year that EVs won't have a majority share in the market for another 15-20 years. VW are one of the biggest sellers of Diesel cars in the EU where up to 40% of all new cars sold are Diesel, yet they have their finger in at least 4 electric vehicle battery development agreements. In 2008 they signed on with Sanyo, they are also a member of the German li-ion battery consortium and in Jan of this year announced a partnership with Toshiba to develop EV batteries.

Sounds like a lot of effort for something that's 20 years off.

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