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Germany to invest $568m in electric vehicle research

The German government announced this week plans to invest US$568mn in the creation of a research facility to improve German firms’ attempts at developing battery cells for electric vehicles, Channel News Asia reports.

German Education and Research minister Anja Karliczek announced the pledge on Wednesday, outlining plans to use the new facility to transfer information concerning both current and next-generation EV battery technology from Germany’s state owned Fraunhofer science institute to private firms.

The German government hopes that the facility will provide the boost to the German electric vehicle battery market that will allow it to compete with Asian maufacturers. Karliczek said in a press release on Wednesday: "The German car industry shouldn't depend on Asian suppliers. This is not only a question of independence, but also a question of keeping the German economy competitive."

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Currently, the electric vehicle battery manufacturing market is primarily dominated by Japan’s Panasonic Corp, South Korean makers Samsung SDI Co and LG Chem, and China's Contemporary Amperex Technology Co.

German automotive companies BMZ group, Liacon Batteries, Customcells, EAS Batteries and TerraE will reportedly be involved in setting up the facility. Karliczek offered no concrete timeline for the delivery of the funding, which will be added to $1.13bn already pledged by the Economy Minister Peter Altmaier to support company alliances that are ready to invest in a large-scale production of electric car battery cells in Germany, according to Channel News Asia.

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