According to a story in the Beijing News, Chinese battery and auto maker BYD may be close to a deal to supply Volkswagen with batteries. BYD, who is developing a line of their own battery electric vehicles, may cooperate with Volkswagen on a lithium iron phosphate battery.
Says BYD sales manager Wang Jianjun, "BYD is willing to cooperate with foreign automakers on iron battery development."
The new iron-phosphate technology offers a lower-cost alternative to other lithium-ion batteries, but it is a long way from market readiness. BYD certainly has the experience in developing and producing batteries (they started as a battery company 13 years ago), but the key advantage to a deal with Volkswagen is clear: time and cost to market. Meaning that, rather than developing, marketing, and launching into dozens of markets worldwide at a daunting expense, BYD would get their technology into the world's hands at a fraction of the time and cost.