Volkswagen to help Chinese build German battery plant


Volkswagen turns its combustion engine plant in Salzgitter into a center for the production of battery cells for electric vehicles.

Volkswagen Group and China’s Gotion High-Tech will jointly convert an ICE plant in Silzgitter, Germany into a battery plant. It is planned to create a laboratory for the production of cells, a pilot line for the production of cells and a pilot plant for the processing of batteries.

“We are delighted to expand our partnership with Gotion High-Tech as a reputable battery company to co-develop battery technology,” Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess said Tuesday. “This is just one of the steps towards our goal – together with partners to become one of the three leading global manufacturers of battery cells,” added Diss.

Gotion will act as a technology partner for the battery plant layout, equipment and manufacturing processes. The start of production is scheduled for 2025.

The deal will also develop the first use cases for VW’s “unified cell” concept for mass-market models. The concept refers to a prismatic cell format adaptable to the various chemical mixtures available today or ready to be released to the market in the future.

The company said that unified batteries will be used to power most of the vehicles it manufactures worldwide. These cells will debut in Europe in 2023.

The new Northvolt plant in Germany will be one of two additional battery factories planned to be operational following the commissioning of the first plant in Skelleftea, northern Sweden.

While the Skelleftea plant will mainly supply batteries for VW, the planned new construction in Germany has nothing to do with VW’s European network of six gigafactories, Karlsson said.

“This is an independent project,” he stressed.

Northvolt also works with BMW and Volvo. He added that there are currently no plans to partner with other VW gigafactories.

Earlier we wrote that Volkswagen wants to be the world’s largest electric car maker, replacing Tesla by 2025.