16 Mar 2021, 13:31
Charlotte Nijhuis

Volkswagen plans six new battery cell factories in Europe

Handelsblatt / Wirtschaftswoche Online

German car manufacturer Volkswagen plans to build six battery cell factories in Europe by 2030, the carmaker announced on Monday, Handelsblatt writes. The factories are to have a total capacity of 240 gigawatt hours to power the increasing number of electric drives. By producing its own batteries, the Wolfsburg-based company can reduce its dependency on battery suppliers and, above all, cut the costs of producing its electric vehicles, Wirtschaftswoche Online writes. “'By 2030, a uniform cell format will cover 80 percent of all use cases in our group,” said Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess. “That will help radically reduce battery costs. And that, of course, means more affordable vehicles.” VW is partnering with the startup Northvolt to build a factory in Sweden and in Lower Saxony in Germany, and is still looking for additional locations and partners. In cooperation with energy and petroleum companies, such as BP/Aral in Germany and Iberdrola in Spain, VW also wants to expand the e-car charging network in Europe by installing 18,000 fast-charging points by 2025, Wirtschaftswoche writes. “We will ensure that charging is just as easy as refuelling," Diess said.

Volkswagen is following its rival Tesla, which plans to build a battery cell factory near Berlin. Tesla plans to start battery production in around two years time. In the fourth quarter of 2020, the Volkswagen Group sold more electric cars worldwide than Tesla for the first time. Volkswagen plans to invest around 35 billion euros in electric cars by 2024 and to become climate-neutral by 2050.

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