Volkswagen & Varta Microbattery Ltd. To Establish Joint Venture For Next-Generation Li-ion Systems for EVs

September 27, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

According to media reports, Volkswagen and Varta Microbattery GmbH (a wholly owned subsidiary of Montana Tech Components AG) will collaborate on research to develop next-generation Lithium-ion battery systems for electric vehicles.

The four-year project aims to make Li-ion cells more competitive in terms of technology and price but they still need the approval by the German Cartel Office. Research activities will be performed at VARTA Microbattery’s head office in Ellwangen and initially the project will cover a four year period.

In this joint venture VARTA Microbattery will contribute its know-how in the area of Li-ion batteries as well as its production technology. The company’s focus to date has been more on supply of miniature battery technologies for mobile communication, medical and electronic equipment.

In terms of automotive applications, Varta cells are currently used in areas such as car alarms, car keys, car stereo and oil injection.

On the rechargeable (secondary) cell side, Varta produces NiMH button, NiMH cylindrical, Lithium polymer, Lithium button, Lithium cylindrical and Lithium prismatic cells. For non-rechargeable (primary) cells, Varta offers Lithium cylindrical, button and prismatic; alkaline cylindrical; zinc air button; silver button; alkaline button; and gassing cells.

VW’s new E-Up! Concept will be the first car to receive the new batteries in 2013, when Volkswagen plans to launch the vehicle onto public streets.