Sanyo Electric and Volkswagen will jointly develop next-generation Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries for hybrid electric vehicles (HEV).
Sanyo has already provided HEV batteries for Ford’s Escape Hybrid and Honda’s Accord Hybrid on the North American market. The agreement with Volkswagen is the company’s first HEV partnership with a European automaker.
Sanyo is working to reduce the size and weight of its HEV NiMH systems, while increasing output. The company also is working with lithium-ion technology.
The Japanese firm reportedly will send engineers to Volkswagen to cooperate in the development process. Although it will eventually supply the German automaker with the batteries as well as control systems for the products, the timing and volume have not yet been specified.
Sanyo is focusing on batteries as one of the major drivers of a financial rebound, and has set an ambitious goal of obtaining 50% of the hybrid vehicle battery market by the end of 2010.
Earlier in January, Volkswagen and Continental Automotive Systems agreed on a strategic partnership for the development and supply of power electronics for future hybrid projects. Volkswagen also awarded a contract for a hybrid drive module, including the power electronics, to Continental Automotive Systems and ZF Friedrichshafen AG. (Earlier post.)