On Thursday, VW signed a letter of intent with the Toshiba Corporation with the objective of jointly developing electric drive units for VW's proposed New Small Family of vehicles. In addition to electric drive units, the companies will also be working on high specific energy density batteries.
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Said VW AG chairman Dr. Martin Winterkorn, "Volkswagen is forging ahead with the development of future drive technologies in many different areas...I am convinced that this will be a major step forward towards the development of series production electric vehicles for our customers." Most recently, VW introduced its suite of BlueMotion high-efficiency vehicles including the 2010 Touareg V-6 TSI Hybrid, which will tow 7,700 lbs. and earn over 26 mpg.
Signing the letter of intent in Wolfsburg, Germany were Dr. Winterkorn and Asutoshi Nishida, president and CEO of Toshiba Corp. Nishida feels the partnership is an important step "towards the drive technologies of tomorrow," adding that the partnership is a promising sign of mobility that emphasizes both ecology and economy.