FRANKFURT (AP) -- German carmaker Volkswagen AG and Toshiba Corp. of Japan said Thursday they had signed a letter of intent to work together on a line of electric drives for VW automobiles, along with battery systems for future models.
Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen, in a statement, said it hoped to push the development of future drive technologies in many fields and that more research and development would be needed, particularly for smaller but more powerful lithium-ion batteries.
"To further support our strong position, Volkswagen is making lasting investments and offering cooperation to other companies," Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn said. "One of the important building blocks here is the cooperation with Toshiba."
Winterkorn said the goal of VW is to produce an affordable, safe, emmission-free electric car and that he thought the cooperation would give a solid push to that end.
Atsutoshi Nishida, Tokyo-based Toshiba's CEO, said the arrangement would benefit both companies.
"The mutual know-how of both international technology companies, Volkswagen and Toshiba, will be an important step to the vehicle technology of the future," he said.
VW shares closed down nearly 7 percent at euro251.60 ($324.56) in Frankfurt trading.