According to people that have knowledge of the proceedings, the second-largest automaker in the world, Volkswagen AG, acquired a portion of battery startup QuantumScape Corp.
The sources that talked to Bloomberg under condition of anonymity because the deal has not been made public yet, point out that the German carmaker has moved to secure the stake in the battery startup in a bid to develop and market future technology that might allow electric cars to come with at least triple the range of today. The people, who revealed details of the company’s plans, also disclosed that the newly purchased energy-storage technology, which is among others fireproof, would be used for the namesake brand, Porsche and Audi models. The stake deal was made through VW of America – the US division of the carmaker – and the 5% holding came along with an option to increase the stake if needed. Early viability tests of the system for automobile use should be completed in mid-2015, the sources added.
Currently, Tesla Motors Inc., the Palo Alto, California-based electric-carmaker headed by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, is the undisputed king of luxury electric cars – thanks in part to its proprietary technology that ensures a very good range (for battery operated vehicles).