Volkswagen anticipates requirement of 150 GWh of batteries annually by 2025
Audi e-tron quattro concept
A few months ago Volkswagen hinted that batteries will become a new "company competency", and that the group will need up to 150 GWh annually by 2025.
Since then, the wider media have been searching for first sites for VW Gigafactory and also potential partners from the existing battery industry but, according to latest news, there will be no Volkswagen battery factory.
Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller not only denied the intention to build a battery cell manufacturing plant, but called it a nonsense!
"Now Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller qualified these reports as “complete nonsense”. In an interview with business paper Handelsblatt, Müller said “we certainly won’t do such a nonsense”, referring to the reporter’s question if the company had any plans to fabricate their own traction batteries."
"Nevertheless, Müller left open a small backdoor for another reversal: The company is carefully investigating the entire battery production process chain, from the extraction of the raw materials to cell production, battery assembly and the integration of the complete batteries into the car. “Then we will see how far we will commit to this topic and invest”"
Volkswagen is thin on cash these days as all its "spare change" now goes to paying for Dieselgate settlements, and an automated assembly line is “extremely expensive”.
So, there is only one way to have batteries, while not producing them - and that is buying them from external suppliers.
One of the suppliers - Samsung SDI - recently announced an investment in Hungary, its third (European first) factory; while LG Chem is also still considering a new site in Europe. Both companies were mentioned by Audi previously to provide batteries for its upcoming long-range SUV.
Another previous battery supplier for the Volkswagen group is Panasonic, but we have yet to hear about any Panasonic's intentions to build a factory in Europe - they seem to have their hands full in the US.