FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen is open to joining a German consortium exploring the production of electric-car battery cells and will discuss the matter at a supervisory board meeting on Friday, a person familiar with the matter said.
A Volkswagen spokesman declined to comment.
VW has already awarded multibillion-euro battery cell supply contracts to LG Chem and China's Contemporary Amperex Technology, but CEO Herbert Diess has said Germany should wean itself off a dependence on Asian suppliers.
The German government is coordinating efforts to form a multi-company consortium designed to do just that as the demand for batteries rises in Europe in response by a push by automakers to launch full-electric vehicles.
The government has earmarked 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to support the consortium in producing battery cells and establishing a research facility to develop next-generation solid-state batteries. Germany aims to have 30 percent of such production coming from Germany and Europe by 2030, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Tuesday.
Altmaier said Germany wanted to work with other European countries, adding that he was already in contact with France, Poland and Austria on the issue.
There have been big developments in lithium ion technology over the past few years, but the power packs have drawbacks and companies are looking to develop more stable batteries that use less raw materials and pack more power.
Companies involved in talks with Economy Minister Peter Altmaier about building a factory include German battery maker VARTA Microbattery, chemical giant BASF and Ford's German subsidiary Ford-Werke, three people familiar with the matter have told Reuters.
South Korea's LG Chem is already supplying some German automakers with EV batteries made in Poland, while Samsung SDI and SK Innovation are planning factories in Hungary.