As Volkswagen AG searches for companies to supply it with electric-car batteries, it is reportedly in talks with a Robert Bosch GmbH and Samsung SDI Co. joint venture and LG Chem Ltd. In an interview, Ulrich Hackenberg, head of Volkswagen brand development, said that the company is keeping its options open and is expected to study the development of various battery systems.
However, Hackenberg didn't say when the deal with SB LiMotive Co. and LG Chem, the largest South Korean chemical maker, will be signed. Hackenberg added that mass-produced battery cells aren't likely to start delivery until one or two years from now.
The list of companies that VW is said to have been cooperating with include makers of rechargeable batteries: BYD Co., the Chinese carmaker supported by billionaire Warren Buffett; Sanyo Electric Co.; and Toshiba Corp.
Hackenberg admitted though that Japanese suppliers "are still a step ahead" of BYD. VW intends to begin manufacturing battery-powered cars in China as early as 2013.
VW also said that it wants to add 1.6 billion euros ($2.1 billion) to its investment to create more models and two new facilities in China, raising total investments in China to 6 billion euros.