VW expands battery system production
Volkswagen Group Components has significantly expanded the production of battery systems at its plant in Braunschweig, Germany. After the first expansion stage with a maximum capacity of 250,000 battery systems, the second expansion stage with the same capacity has now started.
The second production line with a capacity of 250,000 battery systems is meant to help scale the production of MEB vehicles and avoid potential battery bottlenecks. “The strong demand for attractive and affordable electric models based on the modular electric drive matrix has the lines of the first expansion stage working at full capacity, so we have fired up the second stage,” said Thomas Schmall, Chairman of the Board of Volkswagen Group Components and Group Board Member for Engineering. “As such, the component is underpinning the Group’s unprecedented electric campaign.”
The Group says it has invested more than 300 million euros in the new building. In the new production hall, the MEB batteries are assembled on a largely automated line. Here, the battery housings are welded, glued and sealed, after which the modules and control units are installed. Several inline, leak-tightness and end-of-line test benches are then carried out to ensure “consistently high quality”, VW says.
As Volkswagen announced in November 2020, the logistics of the batteries to and from Braunschweig will largely be handled by train, this refers to the transport of the cells from LGES’ Polish plant to Braunschweig as well as the transport of the finished battery systems to the MEB plant in Zwickau. Also in November, Volkswagen Group Components (VWGC) published which of its own components will be supplied for the ID.4.
In total, the plant will be able to assemble up to 500,000 batteries per year for models based on Volkswagen’s modular electric drive system (MEB) – in this case for the VW ID.3 and VW ID.4 as well as the Škoda Enyaq iV. In addition, up to 100,000 battery systems will be produced for the VW e-Up, Seat Mii Electric, Škoda Citigo e iV and hybrid vehicles such as the VW Golf GTE. The entire plant now has an annual capacity of 600,000 batteries.
The capacity will not stay at 600,000 battery systems per year for long, as Braunschweig has also been awarded the contract to expand production for PHEV batteries from 50,000 units at present to 300,000 battery systems from 2023. Schmall points out that this means the VW Braunschweig plant plays a key role for the VW Group.
“Through the consistent orientation toward electric mobility and a clear focussing of the product range, the Braunschweig site is lining itself up to be economically future-safe,” says plant manager Martin Schmuck.
In addition to battery systems, Braunschweig also produces steering systems, brake discs, suspension struts, pivot bearings, wheel drives and subframes as well as front and rear axles.