Wolfsburg, Germany – Volkswagen has reached an agreement with Sanyo, a developer of rechargeable batteries, to work on new and extremely efficient high-performance storage systems based on lithium-ion technology.

“Our focus in future will be directed more strongly at making electrically-powered automobiles alongside ones driven by more efficient combustion engines,” said Martin Winterkorn, CEO of the Volkswagen Group. “Drivetrain electrification is the way forward if we wish to secure mobility in tomorrow’s world. This will involve energy recovery. The whole idea will be to no avail, however, as long as we do not have powerful energy storage systems at our disposal and as long as vehicle operations are not in tune with customer demands. This cooperation is an important step for us.”

Volkswagen showcased its Golf TDI Hybrid design study at the Geneva Motor Show in March, combining a high-tech diesel, electric drive and seven-speed DSG transmission technology, while Audi showed its A1 Project Quattro at the Tokyo Motor Show. The Volkswagen Group hopes to be able to employ lithium-ion technology in its first vehicles by 2010.

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