Volkswagen and Chinese automaker BYD (Build Your Dreams) have signed a “memorandum of understanding” announcing that the two car manufacturers will seek ways to work together to bring electric vehicles and hybrids to market.
Volkswagen recently announced its TwinDrive diesel-electric hybrid system and we recently reported on a rumor that the German automaker will bring an electric car to the Frankfurt Auto Show in September. BYD, which is now part-owned by Warren Buffett, already has a two plug-in gasoline-electric hybrids (the F3DM and the F6DM) on the road in China and plans to bring a full electric car (the e6, shown above) to market soon.
After an informal meeting in Germany, where BYD representatives had the chance to see VW’s facilities and drive the TwinDrive Golf (as well as the still-under-wraps electric car), the agreement was signed by Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, Dr Martin Winterkorn, and the Chairman of the Board of Management of BYD, Wang Chuanfu.
Official release after the jump:
Volkswagen and BYD sign memorandum of understanding
Partnership in the area of electric mobility to be explored
Wolfsburg, 25 May 2009 – During an informational visit by the Chinese carmaker BYD “Build Your Dreams” – led by the Chairman of the Board of Management, Wang Chuanfu – a memorandum of understanding was signed last week by Mr Wang and Dr Winterkorn. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board for Technical Development at Volkswagen, insisted on personally providing the delegation of Chinese top managers with information. The visit, which took place first at the Elektrotraktion Technology Centre in Isenbüttel and then at the test tracks in Wolfsburg, featured technical discussions and test drives with a variety of vehicles such as the Golf twinDrive and the prototype for an electric vehicle. “Volkswagen will consistently expand its successful ‘BlueMotionTechnologies’. Hybrids and electric vehicles will play an increasingly important role, of course. Particularly for the Chinese market, potential partners such as BYD could support us in quickly expanding our activities,” emphasised Dr Hackenberg.
Afterwards, the Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, Dr Martin Winterkorn, and the Chairman of the Board of Management of BYD, Wang Chuanfu, signed a memorandum of understanding. The objective of signing a memorandum of understanding between Volkswagen and BYD is to explore the options for partnership in the area of hybrids and electric vehicles powered by lithium batteries.