Volkswagen is extending its green approach by participating in an EU-backed initiative that will pool resources to support energy-related technological companies.
The automaker, which has pledged to be carbon-neutral by 2050, announced on Wednesday that it has formed a strategic agreement with EIT InnoEnergy and will become a shareholder in the EU-backed company.
Volkswagen has taken additional moves in the industry, including announcing intentions to establish a 300 million euro ($348 million) venture capital fund to invest in decarbonization initiatives and start-ups in September.
“The idea is simply … to use InnoEnergy as an additional way to find interesting enterprises and support them in scaling up their business models,” said Jens Wiese, Volkswagen`s head of group M&A, investment advisory and partnerships.
VW intends to be the world’s top seller of electric vehicles by the middle of the decade, with plans to develop six huge battery cell facilities in Europe with partners by the end of the decade.
EIT InnoEnergy has already invested 560 million euros ($650 million) in roughly 300 companies, including Northvolt, a Swedish battery cell manufacturer, and H2 Green Steel, a steel venture, and Vulcan Energy Resources, a lithium miner.
EIT InnoEnergy, which is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), invests start-ups and businesses that are working to decarbonize the energy system and move away from fossil fuels.
Volkswagen did not disclose the value of the investment or the size of the stake in EIT InnoEnergy, whose owners also include Schneider Electric, TotalEnergies, Engie and EDF.
Volkswagen owns a fifth of Northvolt and has invested in H2 Green Steel, which is backed by Mercedes-Benz, Spotify founder Daniel Ek, and Northvolt co-founder Vargas Holding, through its trucks business Scania.