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Electric-Car Flops Spur BASF Investments in Batteries

Burning cars and bankruptcies have marred the market for batteries powering electric vehicles. That isn’t deterring the world’s biggest chemical maker BASF SE (BAS) from investing in the space.

The German company is betting customers will flock to electric cars, using its chemical products to create a battery that will enable vehicles to run longer. BASF, with an annual 1.7 billion-euro ($2.3 billion) research budget, has made battery materials one of 10 areas it’s targeting for growth.

“We are committed,” Adrian Steinmetz, head of global business management at BASF’s battery materials unit, said in an interview at the company’s headquarters in Ludwigshafen across the Rhine River from Mannheim. “Having this long-term strategy is typical of BASF. It’s the reason why this company has existed for 149 years.”
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