With closest rivals BMW and Daimler forming industry alliances to help further the development of batteries and other electrical energy storage technologies for use in cars, it appears Audi too is getting in on the action, today announcing a new joint-research project of its own.

Dubbed “eProduction”, the new project, which is being sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), is aimed at generating expertise in the assembly of batteries for use in electric cars.

“With eProduction we are taking the next important step on the road to electric mobility,” Audi board member Frank Dreves said at today’s announcement. “This will put us in a position to produce electrically powered cars in larger numbers--in a way that is efficient, safe, robust and sustainable.”

Key areas the initiative will be focusing on include battery performance and lifetime, as well as efficient arrangement of the battery cells themselves. Engineers will also examine related technologies such as high-voltage connections, electronic management systems, electromechanical components, and the housing, various sensors and actuators that round out the battery system.

Other members in the project include software experts Dassault Systèmes and engineering firm Fees Verzahnungs­technik. Seven universities and institutes are also involved. The German government will provide up to $15 million in research dollars as part of its own initiative to see one million electric cars on its nation’s roads by 2020.

Note, this is just the latest in a long string of initiatives from Audi aimed at the advancement of electric cars. In addition to the handful of e-tron prototypes and concepts, Audi has also launched several real-world trials and established new electric car development centers.