Volkswagen Group will establish six battery gigafactories in Europe with a total production capacity of 240 GWh by 2030. The announcement was made on its first Power Day.
The first two factories will operate in the Swedish city of Skellefteå and in Salzgitter in Germany. It’s decided to refocus cell production and concentrate production of its premium cells in the Swedish gigafactory Northvolt Ett in Skellefteå in collaboration with Northvolt.
The production of these cells is set to commence in 2023 and will be expanded gradually to an annual capacity of up to 40 GWh.
The gigafactory currently operated by Volkswagen in Salzgitter will produce the unified cell for the high-volume segment from 2025 and develop innovations in process, design and chemistry. Production capacity of up to 40 GWh per year is also planned for Salzgitter.
VW says it’s also expanding the public fast-charging network globally and has announced partnerships with the energy companies BP (Great Britain), Iberdrola (Spain) and Enel (Italy). Along with its partners, the company intends to operate about 18,000 public fast-charging points in Europe by 2025.
Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Group, says: “E-mobility has become core business for us. We are now systematically integrating additional stages in the value chain. We secure a long-term pole position in the race for the best battery and best customer experience in the age of zero emission mobility.”
Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen Group Board Member for Technology, adds: “We aim to reduce the cost and complexity of the battery and at the same time increase its range and performance. This will finally make e-mobility affordable and the dominant drive technology. We will use our economies of scale to the benefit of our customers when it comes to the battery too. On average, we will drive down the cost of battery systems to significantly below €100 per kilowatt hour. This will finally make e-mobility affordable and the dominant drive technology.”
Volkswagen is also expanding the public fast-charging network in the US and China too. Electrify America is planning around 3,500 fast-charging points in North America by the end of the year. In China, a total of 17,000 fast-charging points are being targeted by Volkswagen by 2025 through the CAMS joint venture.
Meanwhile, Sweden’s Northvolt has received a $14 billion order as it is selected as a strategic lead supplier for premium battery cells for Volkswagen Group in Europe. VW will at the same time increase its ownership in Northvolt.
Peter Carlsson, Co-Founder and CEO, Northvolt, says: “Volkswagen is a key investor, customer and partner on the journey ahead and we will continue to work hard with the goal to provide them with the greenest battery on the planet as they rapidly expand their fleet of electric vehicles.”
Thomas Schmall, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group Components, adds: “Volkswagen will continue to deepen the collaboration and partnership with Northvolt. They are one of our key battery suppliers as we make the transition to electric mobility – and there is potential to expand this partnership even further.”
In total, Northvolt has now secured in excess of $27 billion worth of contracts from key customers.