The Volkswagen Group has presented its new technology roadmap for increasing the efficiency of electric vehicle batteries and their charging time, with the goal of significantly increasing the adoption of sustainable transport by 2030.
In addition to improving the efficiency of electric vehicle batteries, the group is also aiming to secure the supply of battery cells beyond 2025. It plans to establish six gigafactories with a total production capacity of 240 GWh v in Europe alone and is also pursuing global expansion of the public fast-charging network – co-operations have been agreed in Europe with the energy companies BP (United Kingdom), Iberdrola (Spain), and Enel (Italy).
Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Group, said: “E-mobility has become core business for us. We are now systematically integrating additional stages in the value chain. We secure a long-term pole position in the race for the best battery and best customer experience in the age of zero-emission mobility.”
The new factories are expected to produce cells with a total energy value of 240 GWh per year by the time they are finally completed. The first two factories will operate in the Swedish city of Skellefteå and in Salzgitter. In response to increased demand, Volkswagen has decided to refocus the previous plan in relation to cell production and concentrate production of its premium cells in the Swedish gigafactory “Northvolt Ett” in Skellefteå in collaboration with Northvolt. The production of these cells is set to commence in 2023 and will be expanded gradually to an annual capacity of up to 40 GWh.
The gigafactory currently operated by Volkswagen in Salzgitter will produce the unified cell for the high-volume segment from 2025 and develop innovations in process, design, and chemistry. Production capacity of up to 40 GWh per year is also planned for Salzgitter. This refocusing will deliver enhanced economies of scale and reduce the complexity of production. Both gigafactories will be powered with electricity from renewable energy sources and potential sites and partners are currently being considered for the other factories.
Volkswagen’s battery offensive is being accompanied by a large-scale expansion of the fast-charging network. Along with its partners, the company intends to operate about 18,000 public fast-charging points in Europe by 2025. This represents a five-fold expansion of the fast-charging network compared to today and corresponds to about one third of the total demand predicted on the continent for 2025.