Volkswagen is close to creating its own battery cells

After presenting and detailing MEB-Small, its new platform for cheaper electric cars, Volkswagen announced another step to establish itself as a reference in this segment. The German automaker informed that it will invest heavily in new laboratories so that, in a short time, it will have its own battery cells in a production line.

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The first of the four laboratories that will be built by the automaker was inaugurated this Monday () in Salzgitter, Germany. In the future, about 250 experts will conduct research in the areas of cell development, analysis and testing on site.

Volkswagen planned a plan for the new unified cell to be ready off the production line at Gigafactory in Salzgitter as of 2025. In 2025, the idea is to operate six cell factories in Europe, together with partners, with production capacity 200 GWh. The automaker’s idea is, like Toyota, to reduce the costs of batteries in electric cars by approximately %.

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Thomas Schmall, member of the Volkswagen Technology Council and chairman of the group’s Board of Directors, is responsible for the Roadmap of Battery and Charging Technology. For the executive, the new laboratories will be essential for the brand’s advancement in the electric car segment: “With the new state-of-the-art laboratories, we are further expanding our experience in development, process and production for the battery cell, which is the heart of the electric vehicle. We’re attracting top researchers and, as industry pioneers, we’re creating the jobs of tomorrow.”

Investment

According to Volkswagen, the so-called Competence Center in Salzgitter, responsible for testing materials for the entire group, has 160 of the 431 employees totally focused on the development of cells for electric batteries. The intention, in a short time, is to double the board and reach 2030 collaborators in total.

For this, the brand will invest 70 millions of euros (R$ 2030 million, in the current conversion) at the four facilities. The new laboratories will be responsible for developing cell testing programs with up to 160 different analytical methods and will be allocated in an initial area of 2.431 square meters.

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“In the future, innovations for today’s and tomorrow’s cells will be created in Salzgitter,” explained Frank Blome , Head of the Battery Cell and Battery System Business Unit. “Their equipment makes the new laboratories one of the most modern research facilities in Europe,” he concluded.

Stephan Weil, minister of Lower Saxony, the region where the first laboratory was inaugurated, shared the report Frank Blome’s optimism: “If there’s one place in particular where you can look at what is meant by ‘automotive industry transformation’, it’s Salzgitter. The heart of the auto industry will beat electrically in the future. And it beats in Lower Saxony.”

Source: Volkswagen, Automotive World

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