VW Power Day: Six battery plants of 40 GWh each planned by 2030

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"Standard cell" is to reduce battery costs by 50 percent from 2023 onwards

VW Power Day: Six battery plants of 40 GWh each planned by 2030-plants

The VW Group presented its technology roadmap for the areas of battery and charging up to 2030 at a "Power Day" today. The aim is to significantly reduce the complexity and costs of the battery.

At the same time, the group wants to secure the supply of battery cells beyond 2025.

Six battery plants of 40 GWh each

Since VW is planning a strong expansion of its electric car production, batteries with a capacity of around 240 gigawatt hours (GWh) will be missing by 2030. Therefore, six battery factories of 40 GWh each are to be built in Europe by the end of the decade. The first two works are already in the making: Northvolt Ett in northern Sweden should produce from 2023; an expansion to 40 GWh is planned here.

The second plant (Northvolt Zwei) will be built in Salzgitter, also with a capacity of 40 GWh from 2025. The third plant will be built in Spain, Portugal or southwestern France and produce from 2026. Number four is expected to work in Eastern Europe from 2027. Two more factories (with an unclear location) are to be added by 2030.

Initially, Northvolt Ett is to build cells for premium vehicles, Northvolt Zwei for the volume segment. Both giant factories are also to be operated with electricity from renewable energies.

New "unit cell" from 2023

As far as batteries are concerned, the company wants to equip 80 percent of its cars with standard cells; the remaining 20 percent can deviate from the standard design. The Scania truck division, for example, will use other cells. The unit cells should reduce battery costs by up to 50 percent.

In addition to the planned in-house production of battery cells, the new unit cell should bring cost advantages. It will be introduced from 2023 and will cover around 80 percent of the Group's electric cars by 2030. Further savings are achieved by optimizing the cell type, innovative production methods and recycling. Overall, battery costs in the entry-level segment are expected to fall by 50 percent and in the volume segment by 30 percent.

"On average, we will reduce the costs for battery systems to well below 100 euros per kilowatt-hour." (Chief Development Officer Thomas Schmall)

In addition to cost benefits, advances in storage capacity and fast charging capabilities are also expected. The new, prismatic unit cell also offers the best conditions for the transition to the solid-state cell.

Batteries with silicon instead of graphite anode

When it comes to cell chemistry, VW is initially using anodes made of silicon instead of graphite. This technology is already used in the Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron GT, according to a spokesman at the VW event. The solid-state cell is to come later (from 2025), from which VW expects 30 percent more range and halving the charging time.

VW Power Day: Six battery plants of 40 GWh each planned by 2030-2030

Batteries with silicon anode

VW Power Day: Six battery plants of 40 GWh each planned by 2030-2030

Solid-state battery

Today a VW ID.4 Pro with the large battery (77 kWh) charges in about 25 minutes. In 2025 it should only take 17 minutes and later even 12 minutes.

VW Power Day: Six battery plants of 40 GWh each planned by 2030-plants

Charging network cooperation with BP, Iberdrola and Enel

Volkswagen is flanking its battery offensive with the large-scale expansion of the fast charging network. By 2025, the group wants to operate around 18,000 public fast charging points in Europe in association with partners. This corresponds to a five-fold increase in the fast charging network compared to today and around a third of the total demand forecast for 2025 on the continent.

In addition to its involvement in the Ionity joint venture, a partnership with BP bring around 8,000 fast charging points. The fast chargers with 150 kW charging capacity will be built at a total of 4,000 BP and Aral filling stations, most of them in Germany and Great Britain.

In Spain, the main traffic axes are to be developed in cooperation with Iberdrola. In Italy, Volkswagen wants to cooperate with Enel to expand the fast charging network both on motorways and in cities. Volkswagen will spend around 400 million euros on the entire program in Europe by 2025. External partners contribute additional money.

Volkswagen is also expanding the public fast-charging network in the USA and China. The VW subsidiary Electrify America is planning around 3,500 fast charging points in North America by the end of 2021. In China, Volkswagen is planning a total of 17,000 fast charging points through the CAMS joint venture by 2025.

Bidirectional charging for MEB cars from 2022

Another focus is bidirectional charging: Electricity from your own solar system should be stored in the car and fed back into the house network if necessary. This will make car owners less dependent on the public power grid and save costs and CO2. Models based on the MEB modular system should support this technology as early as 2022.

VW also wants to offer a complete package with all modules and digital services – from the bidirectional wallbox to energy management.

Picture gallery: VW Power Day 2021

VW Power Day: Six battery plants of 40 GWh each planned by 2030-plants

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