VW Pumps $10M into Battery Tech Start-Up

Volkswagen is pumping $10M into an American start-up that is trying to boost performance of EV batteries.

The German carmaker has made the investment in Forge Nano which is investigating a material coating process that could improve the performance of battery components. Volkswagen has agreed to provide support for industrial trials of this technology.

This is part of an on-going relationship between the companies since their collaboration began back in 2014. The start-up with headquarters in Louisville, Colorado, is investigating processes for scaling atomic layer deposition (ALD) to create new core-shell materials, especially for battery applications. ALD is a chemical process for applying atomic scale coatings one atom at a time. With its specific ALD technology, Forge Nano aims to boost energy density of vehicle battery cells and radically extend the potential range of EVs.

Dr Axel Heinrich, head of Volkswagen Group Research, said: “We are continually expanding the battery technology know-how required for this purpose. We need to safeguard our technological competence for the future. Cooperation with start-ups is a key element in these efforts.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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