The Volkswagen Group presented its technology roadmap for batteries and charging up to 2030 on its first Power Day. The goal of the roadmap is to significantly reduce the complexity and cost of the battery in order to make the electric car attractive and viable for as many people as possible. At the same time, the Group is aiming to secure the supply of battery cells beyond 2025. In Europe alone, six factories with a total production capacity of 240 GWh are to be established by the end of the decade.
“E-mobility has become a core business for us. We are now systematically integrating additional stages in the value chain. We secure a long-term pole position in the race for the best battery and best customer experience in the age of zero-emission mobility”, says Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Group. Cross-brand responsibility for this technology roadmap will lie with Volkswagen Group Components led by Thomas Schmall, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group for Technology, and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components.
The Group is pushing ahead at full speed with the development of production capacities in Europe in order to meet the increasing demand for battery cells. “Together with partners, we want to have a total of six cell factories up and running in Europe by 2030 thus guaranteeing the security of supply”, explains Thomas Schmall. The new factories are expected to produce cells with a total energy value of 240 GWh per year by the time they are finally completed. Volkswagen is therefore actively contributing to meet the targets of the European Union’s Green Deal. The first two factories will operate in the Swedish city of Skellefteå and in Salzgitter. In response to increased demand, Volkswagen has decided to refocus the previous plan in relation to cell production and concentrate production of its premium cells in the Swedish factory “Northvolt Ett” in Skellefteå in collaboration with Northvolt.
Volkswagen is striving to make significant advances with the battery system including all of its components right through to the cell. “We aim to reduce the cost and complexity of the battery and at the same time increase its range and performance”, says Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen Group Board Member for Technology. “This will finally make e-mobility affordable and the dominant drive technology.”
In addition to the unified cell and the consistent expansion of in-house production, the Group’s new technology roadmap will also focus on integrating more steps along the value chain all the way through to industrial recycling. Together with selected strategic partners, Volkswagen, therefore, wants to secure the long-term supply of cells for its e-offensive. Advances in storage capacity and fast-charging capability are expected in addition to cost benefits. The new prismatic unified cell also offers the best conditions for the transition to the solid-state cell – the next quantum leap in battery technology, which Volkswagen anticipates for the middle of the decade. The Group focuses consistently on strategic partnerships and efficient use of resources both for batteries and for charging. The Group is adhering to its strategic financial targets and continues to aim for a CAPEX ratio of around 6 per cent by 2025 and an annual clean net cash flow of more than €10 billion in its core automotive business.
Volkswagen’s battery offensive is being accompanied by a large-scale expansion of the fast-charging network. Along with its partners, the company intends to operate about 18,000 public fast-charging points in Europe by 2025. This represents a five-fold expansion of the fast-charging network compared to today and corresponds to about one-third of the total demand predicted on the continent for 2025.
Volkswagen intends to integrate the electric car in private, commercial and public energy systems in the future. This will allow green electricity from the solar energy system to be stored in the vehicle and fed back into the home network if needed. Not only will customers be more independent of the public power grid, they will also save money and reduce CO2 emissions. Models based on Volkswagen’s own MEB platform will support this technology from 2022. Volkswagen will also offer a complete package with all modules and digital services – from the bidirectional wall box to energy management. The technology is soon to be used also on a larger scale – for example in residential buildings, businesses or in the general power grid.
“We are thrilled to see the level of commitment of ERTICO Partners in delivering actions which lead us towards a zero emissions transport. And it is even more encouraging to see that these actions are cross-sectoral, coming from public authorities, vehicle manufacturers and service provider. The preliminary results of the City Moonshot interviews ERTICO carried out with the 90 cities globally confirm that vehicle electrification is one of the key decarbonisation actions city authorities aim to implement in the coming years”, said Zeljko Jeftic, Innovation & Deployment Deputy Director at ERTICO – ITS Europe.
The ERTICO Partnership has played a leading role in facilitating the development of electro-mobility, for example in the NeMo project which improved EV charging interoperability in Europe, ELVITEN which raised awareness of light EVs through large demonstrations in six cities, and eCharge4Drivers which is supporting uptake of electric vehicles by making charging facilities more user-friendly, all coordinated by ERTICO member ICCS. The SOLUTIONSplus project is building capacity worldwide for EV take-up, particularly aimed at cities, while the ERTICO-coordinated eMI3 platform has developed ICT interoperability standards for EV charging.