Third cell gigafactory is coming to Spain, charging networks are being expanded
The innovations announced at yesterday’s "New Auto" event by Volkswagen did not fit into a single article. After we talked about the statements about the mechatronic platforms yesterday have reported, today follows a part about batteries and battery factories.
As is known, the VW group wants in the future most of the electric cars with battery "unit cells" equip. The standard cell is to be introduced in 2023 and will cover around 80 percent of Volkswagen‘s needs in 2030.
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All of these models have prismatic cells, which means they are roughly the size of a video cassette. That ensures uniformity. The cells can then contain various types of chemistry: inexpensive lithium iron phosphate chemistry (LFP) for the entry-level segment or cobalt-free chemistry with a lot of manganese for the volume segment or NMC chemistry (nickel-manganese-cobalt) with a lot of nickel for premium cars:
The unit cell is also compatible with future innovations from the cell-to-pack concept to a cell-to-car system and anodes with a lot of silicon up to solid-state batteries from VW partner QuantumScape, as VW technology board member Thomas Schmall explained:
As is known, Volkswagen wants to build six battery gigafactories a 40 gigawatt hours in Europe, so together the battery cell plants should have an annual production capacity of 240 GWh. The locations of the first two plants, Skellefteå (Sweden) and Salzgitter, were also known. While VW is working with Northvolt in Sweden, the Chinese battery manufacturer Gotion will be the partner in Salzgitter. A memorandum of understanding was signed on July 12th.
Another new feature is that the third VW battery factory is coming to Spain. Where in Spain the new plant will be and who the associated partner will be was not stated. The locations of the three other plants are also not yet known.
The VW Group is also involved in the consolidation of the charging networks worldwide, with its Elli division. As is known, VW cooperates with Iberdrola and BP in Europe. What is new is that a joint venture has now been established with the Italian provider Enel; together they want to set up around 3,000 HPC charging points by 2025. The VW subsidiary Electrify America will double its network in the USA and Canada to 10,000 HPC chargers by 2025 and the Chinese partner CAMS is to set up 17,000 charging points.
Ladenetz boss Elke Temme again placed emphasis on the subject of bidirectional charging, in their words "the next big thing in electromobility". One main reason for this: in 2019 no less than 6,500 gigawatt hours, i.e. 6.5 TWh, were lost in Germany because wind turbines had to be curtailed. This electricity would be enough to charge 2.7 million electric cars for a year: Impressive figures for everyone who says that we don’t have enough renewable energy in Germany for all the electric cars.
More from the VW Power Day in March: VW Power Day: Charging could one day be free
VW Power Day: The Group’s plans for battery chemistry
Here again the entire event as an English-language video. The "Battery & Charging" part starts at around 1:01.
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