Daimler, Renault to extend their partnership to batteries for electric cars

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 19, 2011

Renault SA and Daimler AG are currently in discussions over a plan to extend their partnership over batteries for electric vehicles, a person who is familiar with the situation told Reuters on Thursday. The partnership will bring Renault into the Li-Tec battery joint venture of Daimler with chemicals group Evonik.

Specifically, the two automakers are in talks regarding the technical requirements, and once these become clear, they will begin discussions with Evonik, the person familiar on the matter disclosed.

Currently, Renault and Daimler are already in a partnership on small cars like the Twingo and Smart under a stake-swap and development agreement disclosed last year in April.

At that time, the two automakers announced that they were discussing cooperation on electric vehicles. Manufacturers of vehicles are increasingly tying up with chemical companies in order to produce batteries for EVs and meet stricter environmental regulations as well as attract fuel-conscious markets.

As an example, U.S.-based Chrysler, General Motors Co., and Ford Motor Co. announced last March that they would work together with a Samsung and Robert Bosch partnership so that they can develop lithium-ion batteries that are of high energy.

Also, Daimler has expressed an interest in including NEC, a Japan-based electronics group, into the Li-Tec partnership, Germany-based Manager Magazin reported on Thursday.

NEC is currently working with Nissan in a lithium-ion battery joint venture called AESC. Evonik and Daimler refused to comment on the report, while Nissan and Renault were not immediately available to make a statement.

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