Stay Together For The Hybrids

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
stay together for the hybrids

Mergers have not always treated the car industry well (hello DCX), but in the cutthroat EV/HEV/PHEV game, joint-venture hookups now appear to be the order of the day. Toyota's got Panasonic for a partner, Daimler's got JCI-Saft, and Nissan has NEC, while GM juggles Cobasys, A123 and LG Chem. Now, two new joint ventures are joining the electric drivetrain development fray. PSA (makers of Peugeot and Citroen cars) has joined Mitsubishi to develop an EV drivetrain for city cars. Auto Motor und Sport reports that Mitsubishi will bring knowledge gleaned from its own partnership with battery maker Yuasa to the joint venture. Elsewhere, Bosch and Samsung have set up a joint lithium-ion battery venture in Korea, according to Green Car Congress. The new venture, SB LiMotive Co. Ltd, will open its doors this September with production beginning in 2010. Samsung's lithium-ion expertise from its consumer electronics battery business will meet Bosch's vehicle-based electronics experience in hopes of creating new industry-leading electric powertrains. Samsung has already developed a manganese-oxide-based lithium-ion cell for EV use; it's looking into vanadium-oxide as a next-gen anode for EV applications. For the eager EV suitors of Silicone Valley (hello Tesla), these hyperconglomerate hookups could mean even more competition for OEM affections, says CNET. Gotta pass those [s]genes[/s] proprietary technology development costs along…

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