Production of a VW ID.3 in Zwickau (taken in February 2020)
Photo: Hendrik Schmidt / dpa
Together with the Belgian group Umicore, Volkswagen wants to found a multi-billion joint venture for the production of its own battery materials.
In a joint venture between the VW subsidiary PowerCo and the materials technology and recycling group based in Brussels, three billion euros are to be invested in order to be able to produce material for 2.2 million electric cars annually by the end of the decade.
The companies announced this in Brussels and Salzgitter.
The competition authorities still have to agree to this.
"The most important cost factor of electric vehicles at the moment is the battery," said PowerCo chief buyer Jörg Teichmann.
The battery is therefore also the basis for the success of e-mobility.
All battery activities of the Wolfsburg-based carmaker are bundled in the recently founded company PowerCo.
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In particular, the joint venture is to take over the production of so-called battery cathodes and primary materials.
Such cathode material is an indispensable raw material for battery production, which accounts for around 50 percent of the total value of a battery cell, explained VW CTO Thomas Schmall.
The car manufacturer would also like to benefit from the expertise from Belgium for the sustainable procurement of the raw materials used.
The first factory is scheduled to start in Salzgitter in 2025
"We are building a sustainable and transparent supply chain with high environmental and social standards and are locating the value creation here in Europe," said Schmall.
The first factory for battery cells is scheduled to start production in Salzgitter in 2025.
The background to VW's battery offensive are delivery bottlenecks.
If you want to buy an electric car today, you have to expect a delivery time of months.
Together with partners, VW wants to produce electric car batteries with an output of 240 gigawatt hours per year in six European factories by the end of the decade.
In Europe, the carmaker wants to be out of the business with combustion vehicles by 2035 at the latest.
Productions in the USA and China will follow later.