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Volkswagen to Up Stake in QuantumScape, Fully Acquire Audi

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Volkswagen (VWAGY - Free Report) is pumping another $200 million in solid-state battery specialist, QuantumScape. This would bring the German auto giant’s total investment in the Silicon Valley-based battery startup to more than $300 million. The investment will enhance the development of solid-state battery technology that aims to deliver greater range and shorter charge times for EVs, which is the key to take e-mobility to mainstream. Notably, solid-state batteries use solid electrodes and electrolytes instead of the liquids or gels used in lithium batteries.

Volkswagen, which is betting big on electric vehicles (EVs), has been collaborating with QuantumScape since 2012. To get a head start in the emerging solid-state battery industry, Volkswagen and QuantumScape had entered into a joint venture (JV) in 2018. The aim of the JV is to enable industrial-level production of solid-state batteries for Volkswagen. The JV intends to develop a solid-state battery production line by 2025. Both the companies plan to set up a pilot plant, which will be finalized later this year.

Volkswagen aspires to become one of the key players in the e-mobility space and aims to launch 75 EV models, with the ID.3 being the first model. The majority of the models will be based on the MEB platform, a highly-flexible architecture intended specifically for EVs. Volkswagen is focused on long-term strategic partnerships to drive the development of cutting-edge solid-battery technology. In addition to Volkswagen, other auto biggies including BMW (BAMXF - Free Report) , Nissan (NSANY - Free Report) and Tesla (TSLA - Free Report) are exploring the potential of next-generation batteries.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen will obtain the full ownership of Audi for $267 million. Per media sources, Volkswagen specified that it has set the cash settlement to be paid to the minority shareholders in return for the transfer of their shares at 1,551.53 euros per Audi AG share. The share transfer will be completed at Audi's upcoming yearly general meeting later this summer. Not everyone would have known, but Volkswagen did not own 100% of Audi, instead it held a 99.64% of the stake. With Audi's EV plans firmly in place, thanks to four unique EV platforms in its stable, Volkswagen — which carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) at present — should be more than excited to take the complete ownership of the brand. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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