Volkswagen and Northvolt want to increase the capacity of their battery cell factory in Salzgitter, Germany, by 50 per cent. The joint venture plans to submit the building application for the already planned expansion in March.
According to a report from the German Press Agency DPA, the expansion from 16 to 24 GWh is new – although this was announced already in June 2019, when both companies announced that the battery cell production in Salzgitter would be set up from 2020 and start at the turn of the year 2023/2024. The target given for the first year was a capacity of 16 GWh and should be expanded to 24 GWh “in the following years”.
The DPA did not give a date for the expansion in their report – only that the company had announced that the building application for the expansion would be submitted this March. A VW spokesperson confirmed the plans to the news agency Reuters. Although the decision on the expansion has not yet been made, the company wants to have the option, in which case it must already submit this in the building application, the spokesperson said.
In September, pilot production already started on a small scale in Salzgitter. In 2024, the plant will produce battery cells with a capacity of 16 GWh, but it is still unclear when the expansion to 24 GWh will take place. All in all, VW will have to continue to purchase cells from suppliers on a massive scale. With an average battery capacity of 50 kWh in their vehicles, the planned 16 GWh production is only enough for 320,000 electric cars, which is roughly only the capacity of one of their electric car manufacturing sites, for example, the factory in Zwickau. For its plans in Europe and Asia, the Group requires an annual capacity for battery cells of more than 300-gigawatt hours of storage capacity.
reuters.com (in German)
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