German automaker Volkswagen signed an agreement with Sanyo Electric Co, a leader in electronics and battery technology, to develop lithium-ion batteries
. The challenge is to provide the key component for the next generation of hybrid cars, with regard to battery size, capacity, weight and cost.
Lithium-ion batteries are widely used in personal computers and mobile phones. In recent years, they've found their way in automobiles.
Last March, Volkswagen unveiled the Golf TDI Hybrid Concept
. This car shows how it's possible to significantly reduce fuel needs thanks to a high-tech diesel powertrain mated to an electric motor and a 7-speed DSG gearbox. It can run solely on diesel or on a combination of diesel and electricity.
Volkswagen AG plans on incorporating the new lithium-ion battery technology to its vehicle lineup as early as 2010.