VW considering in-house battery cell production
Following the change in leadership, VW under Herbert Diess is considering producing their own battery cells, according to German media reports. The company is analyzing “all options, including in-house production, Joint Ventures or the purchasing of other companies competencies”, said a spokesperson.
Berd Althusmann, minister of finance in lower Saxony and member of the supervisory board for VW, has also stated that he hopes that his state would not only be a research hot spot, but would also enter production.
Recently another report state that an unnamed VW manager said that Volkswagen might make a bigger move than anticipated with their pilot project in Salzgitter to produce battery cells. The VW factory in Braunschweig was also supplemented to drive the development and manufacturing of battery systems for the MEB platform. VW themselves spoke of the bundling of battery technology for all of Europe in Braunschweig.
The recently deposed former head of VW, Matthias Müller, had recently stated that there were no plans to go into serial production of batteries on the other hand. He stated that this were not Volkswagen’s “core competency” and that other manufacturers were better equipped to produce the batteries. This line of thinking was clearly not shared by all in the VW leadership, as Diess has stated that he wants battery manufacturing in Germany, as it is one of the core technologies for e-mobility.
It was also recently announced that VW had chosen CATL to supply battery cells from China. The first purely electric model by VW, which will be supplied with battery technology by CATL will be released later this year. But VW did not put all their battery supply needs with CATL, as the company has also made agreements with LG Chem and Samsung SDI from South Korea.
China presents a tough market for Korean battery manufacturers, as the subsidies for the cars do not extend to their components. The Chinese market protectionism is now driving Korean manufacturers to embrace the European markets and supply batteries there instead. Recently the Chinese battery manufacturer Lishen also joined the discussion and is discussing delivery of lithium-ion batteries with VW and Daimler.
wiwo.de (In German)