Volkswagen and Bosch to manufacture EV battery cells on industrial scale

Bosch, in collaboration with Volkswagen, seek to industrialise production processes for EV battery cells with standardised equipment.

Volkswagen and Bosch have signed a memorandum of understanding to delve into the establishment of a European battery equipment solution provider. The two companies plan to supply integrated battery production systems as well as on-site ramp-up and maintenance support for electric vehicles (EV), battery cells, and system manufacturers.

The companies are targeting for cost and technology leadership in the industrialisation of battery technology and the volume production of sustainable, cutting-edge batteries. Through the ‘local for local’ production approach, this will also be a step towards the objective of carbon-neutral mobility. In Europe alone, the Volkswagen Group plans to build six cell factories by 2030.

Industrial-scale solutions for EV battery cell manufacturing

The Volkswagen Group and the Robert Bosch Group are setting up a project unit to explore the possibilities of industrial-scale solutions for EV battery cell manufacturing in Europe. The corresponding memorandum of understanding was signed yesterday by Thomas Schmall, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Group in charge of Technology and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components, and Rolf Najork, Member of the Board of Management of Robert Bosch Group and Chairman of the Executive Board of Bosch Rexroth.

“Together with Volkswagen, we seek a path to industrialise production processes for battery cells with standardised equipment,” Rolf Najork. “We have the best prerequisites for this: Bosch is not only the world’s biggest automotive supplier, but also one of the leading suppliers of factory equipment. We understand how battery technology works and we know how to manufacture it. With more than 135 years of automotive experience and our proven industrialisation expertise, we want to serve the growing demand for batteries. European industry has the potential to become a technology driver for the ecological transformation of the economy.”

The companies intend to supply the entire range of processes and components needed for the large-scale manufacture of battery cells and systems. The industry-wide demand is enormous: In Europe alone, various companies plan to build cell factories with a total yearly capacity of around 700 gigawatt-hours by 2030.

Future of e-mobility and electric vehicles

For both Volkswagen and Bosch, this alliance is a step towards achieving leading roles in the world of e-mobility and electric vehicles. The partnership will draw on complementary areas of expertise: while Volkswagen is an accomplished at-scale automaker and is on its way to becoming a major EV battery cell manufacturer, Bosch has excellent know-how in factory automation and systems integration.

“Europe has the unique chance to become a global battery powerhouse in the years to come,” commented Thomas Schmall. “There is a strong and growing demand for all aspects of battery production, including the equipment of new gigafactories. Volkswagen and Bosch will explore opportunities to develop and shape this novel, multibillion-euro industry in Europe. Our decision to actively engage in the vertical integration of the battery-making value chain will tap considerable new profit pools. Setting out to establish a fully localised European supply chain for e-mobility made in Europe certainly marks a rare opportunity in business history.”

Volkswagen and Bosch have formed the project unit with the target of preparing the establishment of the new company by the end of 2022.

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