Alongside the development of driver assistance systems, the focus is on electric mobility.
"In the future, the heart of Volkswagen will also beat with electricity, and our engineers in America, Europe and Asia are laying the foundations for that in the research alliance," said Chairman of the Board of Management, Dr. Martin Winterkorn.
VW's plans are to follow up the Touareg Hybrid, launched this year, by a Jetta Hybrid in 2012 and, the year after that, by the E-Up! and the Golf blue-e-motion, one of which will become the first full-electric vehicle VW will offer in the US. Dr Winterkorn said his aim is for "Volkswagen to be the automaker that will offer the electric car attainable for every customer."
Volkswagen is also examining various storage concepts. In the field of lithium-ion technology (li-ion), this means competition between specially developed battery cells and the so-called consumer cells found in notebooks and other devices, also called 18650 cells. The ERL in Silicon Valley has been especially assigned the task of examining the battery compound of consumer cells in order to find the ideal packet assembling of battery cells for VW that will offer intelligent controls (power electronics) of the stored energy, ensuring that cruising ranges are as wide as possible.
For the advance development for future e-models of the Volkswagen Group, every single demand made on batteries is being ascertained: This includes their lifetime and corresponding costs, reliability as well as the cruising range and safety of the battery.
E-mobility is a thriving part of VW's overall research and development (R & D) investment of over five billion Euros a year. Some 23,000 of its employees are active in R & D worldwide.