Continental is aiming to enter the electric vehicle battery industry in the near future as a consortium to finance a new manufacturing plant in Europe.
The German technology giant recently developed the AllCharge Technology system (pictured above) which enables Continental to “make EVs fit for any type of charging station.”
Continental was among the companies bidding to produce the battery pack for the Chevrolet Volt extended-range EV.
It is the primary contractor for a system using lithium-ion batteries from A123Systems, a company which has previous motorsport knowledge having worked with both the Mercedes F1 team and also on the all-electric Drayson Lola LMP1 car in 2011/12.
At present, Continental appears to be more attracted to next-generation batteries rather than the current lithium-ion cell products.
“We could well imagine getting into the production of innovative batteries. That also goes for producing battery cells,” Continental CEO Elmar Degenhart told Reuters this week.
“We need a technology leap in energy density and costs. Such solid-state cells can manage without liquid electrolyte and so are far less flammable.”
Continental has had a proxy involvement in Formula E since 2015 as Renault e.dams has used a Zytek Automotive-designed and built MGU and inverter.
Continental acquired Zytek Automotive in 2014, which has since merged with the company’s powertrain and engineering departments.