Volkswagen, the world's second-largest carmaker, has seen its shares rise by more than half, shrugging off the impact from the coronavirus pandemic and a chip shortage that has hit the automotive sector.
"The Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG has drawn a line under its clarification process and ended its investigation started in October 2015 into the causes of the diesel crisis and who was responsible for this," Volkswagen said.
Winterkorn's lawyers said in a statement the former CEO regretted the supervisory board's decision and rejected the accusations against him.
As part of the deal, Volkswagen will raise its 20% stake in Northvolt and also take over the Swedish firm's stake in a planned battery cell venture in the German city of Salzgitter, which will form the second factory from 2025.
Volkswagen plans to use the prismatic type of battery, increasingly turning to supplies from China's Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL), South Korea's Money Today online news site reported earlier on Monday, citing unnamed South Korean battery industry sources.
The German carmaker declined to comment. Volkswagen plans to announce its battery procurement plans at its Power Day event on Monday, Money Today reported.
The battery maker also said it will sell its share in joint-venture Northvolt Zwei to Volkswagen, while the carmaker increases its ownership in Northvolt.
By consolidating cell production to the Northvolt Ett gigafactory, the partners will achieve further economies of scale, thereby securing the best possible cost and enabling the lowest environmental footprint in the world for cell production.
The supply chain update is part of the world's second-largest carmaker's strategy to raise the share of fully electric vehicles in Europe to more than 70% by 2030 at its core brand, details of which were unveiled last week.
So far, Volkswagen, which sources batteries from LG Chem , Samsung SDI, SK Innovation and CATL, expects annual demand in Europe to be more than 150 GWh from 2025 and to be at a similar level in Asia.