Volkswagen Group signed a memorandum with Bosch Group on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, to explore industrial-scale solutions for battery cell manufacturing in Europe.
According to VW and Bosch’s announcement, the companies want to become a European battery equipment solution provider. They plan to supply integrated battery production systems and provide on-site ramp-up or maintenance support to battery cell/system manufacturers. They aim to provide all the processes and components necessary for large-scale battery cell production.
As the electric vehicle market expands, demand for battery cells will continue to grow. In Europe alone, a few companies plan to build battery cell factories with a total yearly capacity of about 700 GWh by 2030. Volkswagen is no exception. The legacy automaker plans to build six cell factories in Europe by 2030.
“Europe has the unique chance to become a global battery powerhouse in the years to come. There is a strong and growing demand for all aspects of battery production, including the equipment of new gigafactories,” commented Thomas Schmall, the CEO of VW Group Components.
“Volkswagen and Bosch will explore opportunities to develop and shape this novel, multi-billion-euro industry in Europe. Our decision to actively engage in the vertical integration of the battery-making value chain will tap considerable new profit pools. Setting out to establish a fully localized European supply chain for e-mobility made in Europe certainly marks a rare opportunity in business history,” Schmall said.
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Thus far, Asia has benefited from EV market growth and its effect on battery cell demand. The EV battery market grew to $27 billion in 2021. As per SNE Research, the EV battery industry’s top manufacturers are all based in Asia, namely CATL, LG, Panasonic, BYD, and Samsung. The top five EV battery manufacturers make up 80% of global automotive battery production.
Data revealed that Europe and the United States have fallen behind in the battery cell industrial sector. However, VW and Bosch’s industrialization plans may help Europe get into the battery cell production game.