Volkswagen is keen to join forces with any number of companies as it deepens its research and development in electrification. Now, it's working with a Swedish battery manufacturer to get a better grasp on the battery industry, from soup to nuts.
VW announced this week that it has partnered up with Swedish company Northvolt to create what the automaker calls the European Battery Union. The EBU, which will kick off in earnest in 2020, will research every step of the battery manufacturing process, from raw materials to recycling.
The two aren't going it alone, either. In its release, VW says that the EBU will also include "research and industry in seven EU member states," although it did not specify beyond that. Each partner will be responsible for bringing investment money to the table, which should theoretically benefit everyone involved, since the partners will exchange information discovered in the course of its research.
In addition to researching batteries themselves, the EBU will also focus on manufacturing facilities. The goal here is to create "sustainable, climate friendly and competitive battery cell production in the European Union," VW stated in its press release.
Additional money to fund these efforts may come from the German government. Reuters reports that Germany has set aside 1 billion euro (about $1.1 billion) for funding battery research and development, including work on solid-state battery tech that's still in its nascent phase. Reuters says the German government has received applications from more than 30 companies for this funding already.