Strategic partnership with EIT InnoEnergy: VW invests in climate start-ups

Volkswagen is teaming up with the European energy investor EIT InnoEnergy. Both partners announced on Wednesday that they would jointly invest in start-ups that help protect the climate. VW joins EIT InnoEnergy as a partner. Neither side provided any information on the level of participation.

The aim of the strategic partnership is to help technologies and business models achieve economic breakthroughs that contribute to the decarbonisation of the transport sector and accelerate the transition to electric mobility. “In order to decarbonise the transport sector, we need a large number of innovations,” said Jens Wiese, who heads investment management at VW.

Finding innovative startups

“In addition to our own activities, we will in future also increasingly rely on cooperation with start-ups,” announced Wiese. EIT should now help InnoEnergy “to find the most promising companies from all areas of the energy transition, which we can then support in scaling their business model”.

EIT InnoEnergy was founded in 2010 with the support of the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT) and is an EU-funded investment fund that specializes in investments relating to the energy transition. The fund now has 24 shareholders and is currently involved in 300 companies. The fund has been working with VW for five years.

VW at the “forefront of change”

The previous shareholders already include the oil group Total, the development and IT service provider Capgemini, the electrical engineering group Schneider Electric as well as the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). VW is now the first automobile company to participate. The start-ups funded by EIT InnoEnergy include the Swedish battery cell manufacturer Northvolt, in which VW also has a 20 percent stake.

“The transport sector is in the midst of one of its greatest upheavals,” said EIT InnoEnergy boss Diego Pavia. “Automotive companies are faced with the choice of whether they want to be the driver or the driven of this transformation.” VW positioned itself clearly here early on. “Like hardly any other company, Volkswagen has seized the opportunity to be at the forefront of change and to shape it. It makes us all the more proud to have Volkswagen on board as a new shareholder and to take our cooperation to the next level.”

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Lenny Li

I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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