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Volkswagen forges ahead with hybrid battery development

16th October 2006 Print
Volkswagen AG is helping to establish a special, donated, Chair for Applied Material Sciences for Energy Storage and Energy Conversion, the only professorship of its kind anywhere in Europe. A contract which sets out the terms of the contribution was today handed over to Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, where the new chair will commence work in 2007 with the joint backing of Degussa AG, Chemetall GmbH and Volkswagen AG.

The purpose of the co-operation is the further development of electric batteries for hybrid-driven automobiles. Research will be centred on lithium-ion batteries, the aim being to eventually replace the nickel-metal-hybrid batteries conventionally used in hybrid vehicles today with the lithium-ion alternative which holds the promise of added power and power density as well as longer life. The new professorship will set out to develop innovative materials to further enhance the performance of lithium-ion batteries and reduce the costs.

‘For Volkswagen AG, advances in the area of energy storage are one of the keys to further advancing drive technology. The deal sealed today lays the foundation stone for a very promising collaboration between industry and university-based research,’ said Prof Jürgen Leohold, head of Volkswagen Group Research.

Chemetall is the leading supplier of high-end lithium compounds, while Degussa enjoys the reputation of a pioneering manufacturer of electrodes and separators as battery components. This special professorship – for which joint financing has been agreed for an initial period of five years – further substantiates the fact that hybrid automobile technology is a central element of the Volkswagen AG drive and fuel strategy.