JSE-listed vehicle parts maker Metair has acquired 35% of Romanian lithium-ion battery maker Primemotors for €1m.The acquisition is linked to a research partnership with the University Politehnica of Bucharest to develop autonomous driving using artificial intelligence (AI), Metair said on Monday.This marks Metair’s second research partnership with a university. In conjunction with the University of the Western Cape’s South African Institute for Advanced Materials Chemistry, Metair has developed the only pilot project to manufacture lithium-ion battery cells in Africa.Metair MD Theo Loock said the research programmes were an important move for the manufacturer to reduce its dependency on lithium-ion technologies from outside suppliers. "We are increasingly well positioned to take advantage of the global drive towards electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable sources of energy," Loock said.

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