Volkswagen and Ford announced the first formal agreements in a broad alliance that will see the automakers develop commercial vans and medium-sized pickups for global markets beginning as early as 2022. In addition, VW and Ford will investigate collaboration on autonomous vehicles, mobility services and electric vehicles.

In other news, Volkswagen is investing $10 million in U.S.-based start-up Forge Nano Inc. with a view to reinforcing its specialist knowledge in the field of battery research. Forge Nano is investigating a material coating technology that could further improve the performance of battery materials.