German battery alliance

German companies including Volkswagen, BASF, Bosch and Li-Tec are to invest €360m in a project to develop high-performance lithium-ion batteries.

Volkswagen is among the founding members of an alliance of German industries that have joined forces to develop high-performance lithium-ion batteries.

The idea for 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 for innovation among BASF, Bosch, Evonik Degussa, Li-Tec, STEAG Saar Energie and Volkswagen used the congress to suggest a common start on a lithium-ion initiative to the Federal Minister for Education and Research, Dr Annette Schavan.

The project’s is to substantially increase the energy and performance density of lithium-ion batteries and to accelerate the possible use in production.

‘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,’ said Dr Juergen Leohold, head of group research at Volkswagen. ‘Therefore, it is sensible and necessary to combine the potentials for the research and development of this battery in an alliance for innovation. For Volkswagen, this initiative is an important step on the way to zero-emission operation of vehicles.’

Around €360m will be invested in the initiative by the participating industrial partners. Germany’s Federal Ministry for Education and Research is expected to support the project with an additional €60m.