Volkswagen, BYD Exploring Battery Partnership

A company in China is grabbing headlines because it could start supplying car batteries to some of the biggest names in the global auto industry. BYD Co. is already one of the world's biggest producers of cell phone batteries. Media reports indicate that BYD is talking to Volkswagen about supplying batteries for hybrid and electric cars.

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DAVID GREENE, host:

NPR's business news starts with a car battery from China.

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GREENE: A company in China is grabbing headlines because it could start supplying car batteries to some of the biggest names on the global auto industry. The company is called BYD. It's already one of the world's biggest producers of cell phone batteries, and more recently it has entered the car business. Today, media reports say BYD is talking to Volkswagen about supplying batteries for Volkswagen-made hybrid and electric cars. The Chinese company has also been talking to Ford, according to the Wall Street Journal.

BYD has apparently come up with a cost-effective way to produce lithium ion batteries, the kind seen as most likely to power those electric cars in the future. Its one reason it's attracting financial backing from the likes of investor Warren Buffet.

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