First, VW has hesitated – but now the Group is massively increasing in the production of its own battery cells. In Salzgitter, a cell factory for several hundred thousand e-cars per year is created. Technology Board Thomas Schmall defends the strategy. It is obvious to one of the largest and technically leading manufacturers, that they build battery cells themselves – as so far engines. “Now the Claims will be staked for the next 30 years value creation in our industry – and we would like to be there.”
Raw material bottlenecks would have played only partially a role, he explained in an interview with the “Wirtschaftswoche”. Currently, around 30 new cell factories in Europe are alone in construction or planned – the offer will increase. “Our main drive is that we want to master the technological core of our future products themselves.”
Today’s market leaders from Asia started 15 to 20 years ago to produce large-scale lithium-ion cells for mobile applications such as the electric car, so narrow. Of course, the lead is great – but not unobtrusive. Finally, VW does not have to make all the experiences and mistakes themselves who have made others. Thus, the battery packs produced in Braunschweig for the E-Auto platform are at a very different technical level than that was possible for four or five years ago.
The system production with supplied cells is the logical first step, says Schmall. “Now we go peu a peu the cell, which is technically and financially a different challenge.”The laboratory in Salzgitter is one of the most modern in the world. Cells of other manufacturers and own developments were tested there down to the atomic level. The recycling of the batteries should also happen in Salzgitter. The aim is a closed circulation with more than 90 percent recovery.
The actual Gigafycory is built in one to two years, believes thrill. Start of series production should be 2025 – at Northvolt in Sweden, VW starts 2023 with premium cells. In the first stage of expansion, 20 gigawatt hours would be manufactured in Salzgitter. In addition, VW also hold capacities for a second expansion stage of also 20 gigawatt hours. In total, the rich for about 700.000 pure e-cars – but not to cover the complete future needs of the VW Group to Battery Cells. Schmall: “We will continue to buy cells in the coming years, and build more cell factories in Europe together with partners.”
VW has increased its internal forecast from 30 to 60 percent E-cars from 2030. This corresponds to an annual e-auto production in the middle single-digit millions. The main reason is the “Green Deal” of the EU. As a result, demand is fired as well as ambitious climates in the US and Asia. In Europe alone, six Gigafactories would be needed with around 40 gigawatt hours of annual production. In addition to the locations in Sweden and Salzgitter, a third plant was planned in Spain. “For the other three factories we are looking for locations, including in Eastern Europe.”Schmall also sees the need for VW to enter the raw material business itself.
Today technically leading cells with nickel, manganese and cobalt, after viewing the VW manager, will be a while mainstream in the car. In the small car or van segment, for example, where superfast loads and maximum range many are not as important as durability and price, but the lithium iron phosphate cell will conquer market share. Also this guy could be easily manufactured in Salzgitter. With an economic use of solids batteries is to be expected in the mid-decade.
“The current reach Olympiad will expire,” believes thrill. This is still a differentiation factor for the manufacturers. In the long term, however, most customers are a good shop, price and sustainability criteria more important. “If there are enough quick load columns, smaller and cheaper batteries are a good option.”Surely there will be many new and unusual cooperation with batteries and charging infrastructure in the future. For example, energy suppliers are ideal partners. “The vehicle fleet serves as a buffer memory – and the electricity suppliers offer their customers in return cheap charging current.”
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4 thoughts on “VW Board: Build cells themselves – as so far engines”
look. Look at, VW actually develops a strategic mindset. Battery cells are just like motors: technological and value-added heart. In addition, the Corona pandemic, which also has an almost blessing aspect: the realization, globalization and just in time production can not only be a solution, but also problem. Increasing weather disasters as well as geopolitical influences will continue to ensure that the attractiveness of a production site is not only fixed to labor costs &# 128521;
And there will be more jobs in our country in the future – very nice VW
More than meaningful from VW. They have recognized (and that probably not only yesterday) that the battery of the engine of tomorrow, ie main technical distinguishing feature is. You should be able to build that as a car manufacturer yourself. For the E-engines maybe a little something to get, but not really much.
Has funny how Corona has slowly brought the entire car industry to rethink. Climate catastrophes are more common, politics urges climate protection in many countries. The money is scarce through Corona and you have to wake up better where you are invested. This certainly has also led to investing in combustion much faster, as planned. When Europe attracts with emission limit values, China (can go fast, they do not have to protect domestic burner industry and have air purity problems) and USA (sometimes waiting), he is burnt dead. Then 90% of the world market is gone and it’s not worth it anymore.
Well, hopefully they do not build the cells as the engines that were repeated quality in recent years.