June 26, 2022

Top German carmaker, Volkswagen has announced to enter into key partnerships to secure raw materials that it requires to achieve its ambitious electric vehicle strategy, in order to close a gap with rival carmaker Tesla.

Europe’s largest carmaker mentioned that it will build battery plants and procure materials at the core of the three agreements, which are part of the company’s 30 billion euro ($34 billion) plan. It has entered in a joint venture with Belgian chemicals and recycling company Umicore for the same.

Key partnerships include –

• The venture with the above is aimed at supplying supply cathode materials to Volkswagen’s European battery cell factories.
• These factories are aimed to be built by 2030.
• The factories are expected to start producing the material by 2025 with 20 gigawatt hours (GWh) for its plant in Salzgitter, Germany.
• This plant will be built together with China’s Gotion High-Tech.
• The joint venture by the end of the decade is aiming at an annual production capacity of up to 160 GWh at the plant.
• The capacity would be sufficient to power approximately 2.2 million battery-powered electric vehicles.

Volkswagen board member Thomas Schmall commented that their company is implementing its battery strategy very consistently and at a high pace. And teaming up with Umicore will enable them to establish a state-of-the-art supply chain in Europe.

Both parties in the scope of the partnership at a later stage are aiming to include battery recycling and refining.

Umicore CEO, Mathias Miedreich on the latest venture commented that they are very pleased to become a long-term partner for the German carmaker in achieving its ambitious e-mobility strategy in Europe.

According to Volkswagen, it has also recently entered into an agreement with Vulcan Energy Resources for lithium extracted from Germany’s Upper Rhine Valley region by means of geothermal energy.

Vulcan mentioned that the binding purchase agreement has an initial term of five years with commercial delivery to start in 2026.

Last month, Vulcan amid a surge in demand for electric vehicles shortly after agreeing a similar deal with rival Renault had also signed a preliminary lithium supply deal with carmaker Stellantis.