Volkswagen may work with BYD to build hybrid and electric vehicles using the Shenzhen firm’s lithium-ion battery technology, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with negotiations between the companies. The move would make Volkswagen BYD’s first major automotive partner; the company, founded as a maker of batteries for mobile handsets, received a US$230 million investment from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in September last year. BYD is also said to be in talks with Ford and a European automaker. In addition to its battery technology, BYD was also the sixth-largest producer of conventional, gasoline-powered sedans in China in the first quarter of 2009.
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