The Volkswagen Group has announced that it will invest 1,000 million euros in its first battery cell production plant in Europe, which will probably be located at its headquarters in Salzgitter, Germany. Everything depends, according to the consortium, on the general economic circumstances and that the price of energy is "attractive". There is even talk of gigafactories.
The German consortium has not given an approximate date when this production plant will start, but it has explained that a plant like this one will need at least three years. The Volkswagen Group explained that in the first phase, partnerships will be carried out with strategic suppliers in the field of battery cells, such as its well-known SKI partners, LG Chem and CATL. According to Reuters, Volkswagen will buy 50,000 million euros in battery cells from these suppliers.
A strategy that will boost the European project to overcome the Asian hegemony in this field, although the components of the batteries made in Europe will be of Korean origin (SK Innovation and LG Chem) and Chinese (CATL).
On the other hand, at the end of the year the plan to build gigafactories in collaboration with some partners, not yet disclosed, will have been outlined .
Herbert Diess, Volkswagen chief executive said: “We are pressing ahead with the electrification and digitalization of our fleet like no other automotive company,”
“At the same time, we are building up innovative business areas over the coming years to cater for innovative mobility services. This is about aligning the Volkswagen Group to play a decisive role in shaping the sweeping transformation of our industry,” Mr. Herbert Diess added.
And what about the 'ingredients to make those batteries? The German consortium has already reported last month that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Ganfeng Lithium, the world's third largest producer of lithium metals in terms of production capacity. This Chinese giant will supply lithium to the Volkswagen Group and its suppliers over the next ten years. The manufacturer also promises to reduce the amount of cobalt used in the manufacture of batteries in the next three years from the current 14% to 5%.
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