June 29, 2022

German automaker, Volkswagen’s board member Thomas Schmall reported its planned European battery cell plants and securing vital raw materials will cost around 30 billion euros ($34 billion).

According to reports, Schmall is currently supervising the company’s plan to build its six large battery cell plants in Europe by the end of the decade. Such a move comes in its bid to overtake Tesla and become the world’s top electric vehicles seller.

About Volkswagen’s upcoming plants –

• Sweden’s Northvolt will start production of premium cells from 2023, the first plant in which Volkswagen owns a fifth.
• The second plant will be built starting from 2025 and jointly with China’s Gotion High-Tech in Salzgitter.
• By the end of the decade, the automaker is aiming to build four more plants, most likely in Spain, eastern Europe and two additional locations that have so far not been disclosed.
• Depending on the chemistry as well as whether enough energy supplies are available, the costs per plant will be 1 billion to 2 billion euros, while capacity will range from 40 to a maximum of 80 gigawatt hours (GWh).
• However, the production capacity is only one part of the equation.
• The company in order to build the plants had to make sure it gets enough raw materials, such as lithium and nickel.

According to Volkswagen, on Dec. 9 it is planning to submit its next five-year investment plan to the supervisory board. The plan consists of a mix of strategies, which might even include it becoming a shareholder in a mining firm.

Schmall added that the customers will be able to see their full range via the upcoming plants, whilst also referring to fixed and mixed price contracts with suppliers.

This would require making sure that materials are procured sustainably, which, in the company’s case, includes supplier ratings, transparency reports, and efforts to phase out some materials, most notably cobalt.

Lastly, Schmall continued to mention that their goal is to ensure that the full production chain is sustainable, and that producing electric vehicles alone is not enough for the auto company.

Volkswagen by 2050 at the latest is aiming to be carbon neutral.