Volkswagen formally broke floor Thursday on what it’s nicknaming SalzGiga—VW’s battery manufacturing unit at Salzgitter, Germany, that may function a hub for world battery actions and vertical integration of the battery provide chain.
With that, VW additionally formalized the identify of the separate startup, referred to as PowerCo, that may arrange and oversee these factories.
Salzgitter will probably be a blueprint and place to begin for what VW phrases a “global battery offensive,” together with six cell factories in Europe plus “the prospect of further factories in North America in the near future.”
Volkswagen Salzgitter EV cell manufacturing unit
This facility alone will help greater than 20,000 “future-proof” jobs, in response to VW, and will probably be supported by a provider park. Salzgitter will ramp as much as 40 GWh of capability—sufficient for about 500,000 EVs—whereas PowerCo’s plan for Europe consists of six further factories and a complete capability of 240 GWh by 2030.
SalzGiga will produce VW’s new prismatic unified cell format—revealed at VW Power Day in March 2021—that may ultimately be put in in 80% of the EVs from the VW Group by the tip of the last decade. It will probably be used beginning in 2025. With the Power Day announcement, VW pivoted to viewing battery cells fairly than the pack itself as a core competency, aiming for a Cell2Pack technique through which cells are positioned immediately within the pack as an alternative of being grouped into modules.
VW Power Day – battery combine
VW Power Day – battery varieties
VW Power Day – battery varieties
Part of VW’s purpose with PowerCo is to cut back battery prices by as much as 50%. To get there, PowerCo will make investments greater than $20.4 billion (20 billion euros), with long-term goals to attain greater than that quantity in annual gross sales.
The new cell format, which is headed into Volkswagen’s next-generation Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) for electrical autos, will probably be deployed throughout VW Group’s manufacturers, and is scheduled to debut in a mannequin because of launch in 2026. The cell will probably be made with “inexperienced” electrical energy, VW says, and the targeted amenities and standardized format will assist obtain a recycling fee of greater than 90% as a part of the uncooked supplies cycle. All factories will probably be outfitted with the identical standardized gear.
Officials referred to as PowerCo one of the vital vital startups within the historical past of Germany. Volkswagen might have large plans to speed up previous Tesla to turn out to be the world’s primary maker of electrical autos, however to be aggressive it must carry cell manufacturing to its dwelling turf. As CEO Herbert Diess underscored, all of the latest supply-chain points have positioned urgency on the necessity for the corporate, and Germany, to cut back dependence on Asia, not only for cells however for uncooked supplies as nicely.
VW Salzgitter cell facility
The manufacturing unit is being constructed subsequent to a facility that till just lately constructed engines. According to VW, 1,000 staff have already been educated for brand spanking new actions surrounding batteries. Salzgitter has been the positioning of a pilot line for battery cell manufacturing and cell-making experience since 2019.
Germany and the EU perceive the significance of conserving the provision chain inside. In addition to the European Battery Alliance established by the European Commission in 2017, a European Battery Union launched in 2019 goals to conduct joint analysis and assist consolidate uncooked supplies and recycling, whereas specializing in German auto prowess.
That mentioned, the push to ramp up the battery provide chain in all points cannot come quickly sufficient. In 2017, VW’s chief of analysis and improvement anticipated that the equal of 40 Tesla gigafactories is perhaps wanted to feed the whole trade by 2025, and to stave off a scarcity of batteries to satisfy the volumes VW then anticipated.
Now that VW has no less than one gigafactory of its personal deliberate for that timeframe, PowerCo will successfully shoulder VW’s ambition and decide how rapidly it could possibly construct its energy base.