VW Group creates ‘European company’ for its battery business
Posted on 15 Jan 2022 and read 870 times
has established a ‘European company’ (Société Européenne) to ‘consolidate its activities along the value chain for batteries’ — from processing raw materials to developing a unified Volkswagen battery to ‘managing the European gigafactories’. The company’s scope will include new business models based around reusing discarded car batteries and recycling the valuable raw materials they contain.
With this development, the Group is creating ‘efficient and future-proof structures’ for the rapidly growing battery business, as part of its aim of becoming the world’s leading manufacturer of electric vehicles — hence the expansion of its battery-related activities and making these into one of its core competencies.
Thomas Schmall, who is a board member for technology at Volkswagen AG and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components (and thus responsible for batteries, charging and energy, as well as for the in-house production of components), said: “We want to offer our customers powerful, inexpensive and sustainable vehicle batteries, which means we need to be active at all stages of the battery value chain that are critical for success.
“We are now bundling our power in Salzgitter with the aim of encouraging innovation and securing the support of the best partners for our new company going forward. We already have a strong battery team in Salzgitter made up of 500 employees from 24 countries; we are also continuing to strengthen this team at leadership level.”
Volkswagen is planning to establish six gigafactories in Europe to cover the growing demand for battery cells within the Group. Battery cell production in Salzgitter is set to start in 2025, and Volkswagen Group is investing heavily in developing battery cell production in Salzgitter; 2 billion euros has been earmarked for the construction and operation of the Salzgitter gigafactory up to the start of production.
Battery cell manufacture in Salzgitter is expected to provide jobs for more than 2,500 people in the future. These employees will principally be staff from the Salzgitter engine plant, who will be retrained in order to take on these new roles.
In December, the company agreed two strategic partnerships with Umicore and 24M, as well as a long-term supply agreement with Vulcan Energy Resources. The goal of the partnerships is to aid the manufacture and procurement of primary materials as well as to optimise battery cell manufacture at the planned gigafactories.