The automotive li-ion battery world got a little cozier today, with the news that Continental has purchased a 16 percent stake in the Japanese "battery specialist" (Automotive News Europe's words) Enax. ANE says that the two companies will together develop "high storage batteries for automotive use." The company's official announcement on the new partnership says those batteries will be "lithium-ion cells especially for future hybrid and electric drives in automobiles" that will be safer, have a longer service life and provide better performance than today's li-ion batteries.

Based in Tokyo, Enax was founded twelve years ago and is an independent think tank that has been working on li-ion automotive batteries for over ten years. The company has over 80 employees and had sales of $10.5m U.S. in 2006. Conti also works with A123 Systems on batteries for the Chevy Volt and with Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions.

[Source: Automotive News Europe (subs req'd)]