Volkswagen To Build Its First Battery Gigafactory In China?

JUL 16 2016 BY MARK KANE 9

Volkswagen Sport Coupé Concept GTE

Volkswagen Sport Coupé Concept GTE

A source close to Volkswagen’s senior management revealed to Automotive News Europe that the first lithium-ion battery factory to supply the coming massive EV roll-out at the company could actually be built in China.

VW has announced that by 2025 it intends to produce 2-3 million plug-in cars (via the over 10 brands making up the VW Group).  Some 30+ new all-electric models would need approximately 150 GWh of batteries…which is a lot, more than any 3rd party could supply today (or in the near future).

The total investment in such EV plans and battery building capacity could be up to 20 billion euros.

“Whereas current global automotive cell capacity is estimated at around 27 gigawatt hours of supply for the entire industry, VW believes it alone will need the equivalent of 150 GWh just to power its own fleet. “That is roughly 10 battery plants, each requiring investments of 2 billion euros, so that’s 20 billion in total,” the source said.”

China has few advantages over other countries.

For starters, the market is now the largest for plug-in sales worldwide.  Secondly, there are strong government incentives to build there (or one could look at it as dis-incentives to not build there). Thirdly, to get those incentives a JV partner would be needed, which also means that VW would only have to pay half the bill to build out the infrastructure.

“When asked where all these plants might be built, the person responded “China is likely one of the first, since we think electromobility will catch on there as a trend much sooner given the government’s relentless push.””

source: Automotive News Europe

Categories: Volkswagen

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9 Comments on "Volkswagen To Build Its First Battery Gigafactory In China?"

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?? go VW! Dieselgate may ironically turn out to be the best thing that happened to you – it caused you to become the first incumbent to go ALL IN on electric cars!

“VW has announced that by 2025 it intends to produce 2-3 million plug-in cars”

Can you please sell just 100,000 plug-in cars in 2017. That would be a good start.

Keep them in China. Let China beta test these batteries.
Scratch VW off the EV list.

What’s the shipping cost, and the pollution cost, to ship HEAVY batteries to Germany.

The article mentions 10 plants and first due to the size of Chinese EV market to be located there. Very unlikely that all would be located there.

not much since the majority is sold in China anyways. they are a lot smarter than the “stuck in the past” Europeans.

Given the amount of cars that VW sells in China alone, and taking into account that there will be probably more than one factory (not necessarily all of them in China), I seriously doubt that they will bother with shipping cost of heavy batteries from China to Germany. All cells they are using today are imported from Japan, which is even further away.

Plus China does not like non LiFePO4 batteries (see recent Samsung/LG issues in China).
So they will produce LiFePO4 batteries and try to chip them, and compete with much more energy dense batteries. Does not make sense at all, unless they plan to sell those batteries to BYD or use them for their china market.

China will have to open their battery chemistry options, just not yet. In long run, that’s too bad for them and everyone.
Would VW be brave enough to start with next gen battery technology?