Volkswagen may be late to the gate with hybrids and electric cars, but its recent partnership with Chinese automaker and lithium ion battery producer BYD shows that the German car company is a serious contender in the race to supply the masses with an electric car.
Volkswagen has already signed letters of intent with Sanyo and Toshiba as suppliers for electric batteries, and the company is currently exploring an arrangement with BYD to supply VW with lithium ion batteries for its upcoming plug-in and all electric vehicles, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.
BYD is one of the largest manufacturers of lithium ion batteries. High demand and cost has made these batteries one of the road blocks to building affordable plug-in and electric vehicles.
However, the battery-maker-turned-car-manufacturer has been able to make stable and durable lithium ion batteries at half the cost of batteries produced in the west and Japan due to its safer, most cost-effective iron-phosphate-based lithium-ion technology.
Volkswagen hasn't announced plans for a U.S. plug-in or electric vehicle, but it debuted a concept plug-in "Twin Drive" Golf last year. The plug-in Golf is powered by a 82-hp electric motor and a 122 horsepower diesel engine that provide an all-electric range of 31 miles before the diesel engine kicks in. Audi may be producing a plug-in A1 sub-compact and possibly a A4 plug-in.
Source: Wall Street Journal