Volkswagen has opened a pilot line for battery cells at the Volkswagen Group Center of Excellence in Salzgitter. Some 300 experts are involved in developing, testing and piloting innovative manufacturing technologies for the production of lithium-ion batteries. In a first step, Volkswagen is investing more than €100 million in amassing its own development and production know-how.
In addition, Volkswagen is investing a further approximately €900 million in joint battery activities with the Swedish battery producer Northvolt. Construction of a 16 gigawatt hour battery cell factory in Salzgitter is to start in 2020. It is planned to commence production in late 2023/early 2024. To that end, Volkswagen recently founded a 50/50 joint venture with Northvolt. 700 jobs are to be created in the medium-term in this independent joint venture.
Bringing together the development, testing and pilot production of battery cells in Salzgitter marks a further milestone in the Volkswagen Group’s comprehensive electric offensive. By pooling know-how at this site, we are making sure we drive forward our own activities to further advance the development of battery cells as a key component in electrification, develop new standards and swiftly transition them to series production.—Dr. Stefan Sommer, Member of the Volkswagen AG Board of Management responsible for Procurement
The Volkswagen Group has therefore established a battery cell business area at Volkswagen Group Components. This business area is designed to optimize battery cells for future use in the Group’s electric models in cooperation with suppliers.
The spectrum ranges from increasing capacity to extend the range, reducing the use of scarce raw materials and optimizing sustainable manufacturing processes through to recycling battery systems.
We already develop and manufacture power electronics, battery systems, electric motors and charging systems, and are building up battery recycling know-how. With the integration of the battery cell business area, Volkswagen Group Components is on track to becoming a globally leading producer of e-mobility components.—Thomas Schmall, Chairman of the Board of Management of Group Components
A battery recycling pilot line is also under construction in Salzgitter and is slated to begin operating in 2020.