VW to produce battery cells with Swedish battery maker Northvolt
German carmaker VW has acquired a 20 percent stake in Swedish car battery maker Northvolt, which raised 900 million euros in cash to finance the construction of Europe’s biggest car battery cell plant in Sweden, according to the Deutsche Welle. The companies did not disclose the size of VW’s investment. BMW is also among the investors in the Swedish factory.
Nothvolt and VW will also be forming a separate joint venture to build a second battery cell plant in the German city of Salzgitter in VW's home state of Lower Saxony, which is also a major VW shareholder. Construction is slated to begin in 2020, with production to begin in late 2023 or early 2024. VW says it will invest close to 1 billion euros in the Salzgitter plant.
Volkswagen announced the launch of a battery cell production facility that will be operated in partnership with another company in May, without naming its partner. Battery cell production in Germany has been flaunted as an essential step towards securing the future of the country’s mighty car industry, which currently relies on Asian suppliers. While economy minister Peter Altmaier has repeatedly called for developing battery cell production capacities across Europe, many carmakers so far have shied away from entering the market due to high initial investment costs and the overwhelming advantages that Asian manufacturers hold due to their longstanding experience. Carmaker Opel in late April announced it would start battery cell production in Germany in cooperation with French parent company PSA.