V W CEO Matthias Müller clearly stated to the Handelsblatt that Volkswagen is not planning to build a battery factory. “We certainly don't do that kind of nonsense.” The production of battery cells is highly automated, offers few jobs and is “pig expensive”. The group is looking at the entire process chain of battery technology. This begins with the extraction of raw materials and their use through to cell production and the construction of batteries and their installation in a car. VW will announce its plans later this year. 'Then we will see to what extent we are committed to this topic and ultimately invest.'
Independence through our own cell production
A few months ago it was speculated that VW could sell for billions of euros build a battery cell production facility in Lower Saxony. This had rekindled the debate about cooperation between the car manufacturers. Manufacturers want to be prepared when the demand for electric cars increases and become less dependent on suppliers from South Korea and Japan. Experts believe that own cell production in Germany could bring electric mobility forward.
Most recently, Daimler gave up manufacturing its own battery cells at the end of 2015. Now only batteries are made from foreign cells. US competitor Tesla opened its Gigafactory in Nevada just under a month ago. In cooperation with Panasonic, 500,000 batteries for electric vehicles are to be produced there annually by 2020.