Volkswagen and its partners will invest more than 20 billion euros in a battery business, creating 20,000 jobs and targeting annual sales of more than 20 billion euros by 2030, in a bid to beat Tesla, the leader in this growing market, writes Reuters.
VW’s PowerCo unit will manage battery production and research, from mining to recycling, as well as projects including energy storage systems, the carmaker said at an opening ceremony for its first European battery plant in Salzgitter, in the Lower Saxony region of Germany.
“The future of mobility will once again be manufactured in Salzgitter,” said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the inauguration of the battery factory.
The name of the factory, “SalzGiga”, is an allusion to rival Tesla’s “Gigafactory”, which recently opened near Berlin. VW said its project would aim to help the company catch up and eventually overtake Tesla.
20,000 new jobs and annual sales of over 20 billion euros
“Not long ago, many Germans thought we could get batteries from Asia. Today, we know better. The pandemic and Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine clearly show us that dependence on global supply chains is a big risk,” said Scholz.
The project envisages the construction of six factories in Europe, of which Salzgitter is a reference for the future standardized production units of VW, and two in North America, writes Mediafax.
Volkswagen has repeatedly said that making enough batteries to power all its cars is by far the biggest challenge of the transition to electric vehicles, and has unveiled a plan to build factories with a combined capacity of 240 gigawatt hours (GWh) by in 2030.
“The car remains the core of our business, but it will be the most complex digital product in the world when it becomes electric and autonomous, which will transform us into software developers and battery manufacturers,” CEO Herbert Diess said at the same event .
At the ceremony, Volkswagen also presented the standardized battery that it announced in 2021 and which is to be used in up to 80% of the group’s models.