Volkswagen and Chinese car maker BYD have agreed to co-develop electric and hybrid vehicle technology.
VW chairman Dr Martin Winterkorn and BYD chairman Wang Chuanfu signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday that, according to a VW statement, will help VW and BYD to “the options for partnership in the area of hybrids and electric vehicles powered by lithium batteries.”
“Volkswagen will consistently expand its successful ‘BlueMotionTechnologies’. Hybrids and electric vehicles will play an increasingly important role, of course” said Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, VW’s head of R&D. “Particularly for the Chinese market, potential partners such as BYD could support us in quickly expanding our activities.”
The partnership between VW and BYD could have significant implications for VW’s BlueMotion moniker. The BlueMotion name denotes the most efficient product in each of VW’s product ranges, and currently only features diesels.
Although the forthcoming VW Touareg hybrid will be the first non-diesel to wear a BlueMotion badge, a deal between BYD and VW could bring hybrid or electric technology to more mainstream VW BlueMotion products.
The agreement was made during a visit to VW’s Elektrotraktion Technology Centre in Isenbuttel and its Wolfsburg test facilities by senior BYD management.