Vw works with bosch on production systems for battery cells

E-cars: VW works with bosch in salzgitter and stuttgart on production systems for battery cells

Professional photo Elias Holdenried

volkswagen’s engine plant in salzgitter is at the heart of the planned battery cell production facility. It is currently being expanded and modernized. In the process, VW initially collaborated with northvolt.

This cooperation is passe at least in salzgitter. The automaker will soon be working with bosch there.

A joint team is to develop production systems for batteries. This could become a joint venture in the medium term.

Volkswagen wants to become less dependent on the Far East in its transformation to an e-car manufacturer. The majority of battery cell manufacturers are located in china and south korea. Industry giants like CATL and LG chem hold overwhelming market power. In march 2021, VW made a step toward this goal public as part of its "power day": by 2027, six new cell factories modeled on tesla’s "gigafactories" are to be built in europe alone, where the batteries for nearly all electric Group models will be produced.

one of these factories is the engine plant in salzgitter, lower saxony, which is currently being extensively expanded and modernized. Like the other VW battery factories, it is to produce cells with a storage capacity of 40 gigawatt hours (gwh) per year. Originally, VW had an annual production of 10 gwh in mind for salzgitter, but in the course of the cooperation with the swedish battery producer northvolt, this value was increased to 40 gwh.

Volkswagen is converting the plant in salzgitter on its own after all

However, the cooperation with northvolt was terminated at this location after only a few months. According to internal group information published by "wirtschaftswoche" in march, the world’s second-largest carmaker was not satisfied with the pace set by its scandinavian partner. The construction of the factory had progressed only sluggishly. According to volkswagen, northvolt was too busy with the construction of its own cell factory in northern sweden and was overburdened with both projects. The swedes should concentrate on their own plant, while VW takes the construction of salzgitter into their own hands. Production to start there in 2025.

even though northvolt has withdrawn from salzgitter, the partnership with volkswagen continues. wolfsburgers still have high hopes for the company, in which they invested another 500 million euros in june. The young Swedish company will produce high-performance cells for the group’s premium models. These are to be used primarily by porsche and audi.

VW and bosch establish a joint project house

VW has now apparently found an additional partner. on tuesday it was announced that thomas schmall, member of the VW group’s board of management responsible for technology, and rolf nojork, member of the bosch board of management, had signed a letter of intent.

The carmaker has set up a project house with the southern german technology group and the world’s largest supplier. It will develop and offer production systems for batteries and help other companies to set up and scale up production. VW probably has not only itself in mind, but also its competitors and specialized battery producers. Daimler and stellantis, for example, would like to manufacture their own cells in europe in the future.

Other manufacturers could also become customers

The project house, for which the participating companies are still keeping quiet about the investment amount, could become a joint venture from the end of the year onwards. The demand is huge. By the end of the decade, cell factories with a combined annual production of about 700 gwh are expected to be ramped up in europe alone. "we are working to build a fully localized european supply chain for e-mobility "made in europe" – a historic opportunity in business history," thomas schmall is quoted as saying in a VW press release.

According to wirtschaftswoche, salzgitter will again play a major role in the joint project of the two german industrial giants. According to information from the medium, 40 employees are to work on it on both sides – at a bosch site in stuttgart-feuerbach and in the vicinity of the VW plant in lower saxony, which is in the process of being transformed. Employees are to move between the two locations, thus ensuring an exchange of personnel between the groups. Until further notice, bosch and volkswagen would like to finance the project for twelve months.

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