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by Tim Beissmann

Mitsubishi has signed an agreement with German engineering leader Bosch and battery specialist GS Yuasa International to develop high-performance lithium-ion batteries for its next-generation plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.

Robert Bosch GmbH will hold a 50 per cent stake in the joint venture, with Japanese duo Mitsubishi Corporation and GS Yuasa International to each take a 25 per cent share.

The companies plan to use advanced cell management and tap into progress made in electrochemistry and materials to significantly increase energy content, with the goal of reducing battery weight and space requirements and increasing the range of electric vehicles.

Bosch will contribute its expertise in quality management of large-scale series production of complex components. Bosch specialises in the monitoring and control of cells and complete battery systems as well as in integrating them into vehicles, and will support the joint venture with its range of EV components.

GS Yuasa will contribute its experience in manufacturing lithium-ion cells and its materials systems and electrochemistry know-how, while Mitsubishi will apply its knowledge of natural resources and materials and take responsibility for marketing and sales.

Operations are set to start at the beginning of 2014 out of the joint venture’s planned Stuttgart headquarters.