Volkswagen kicks off "global battery offensive" in Salzgitter
Volkswagen enters global battery business with PowerCo. To kick off its battery offensive, the group broke the ground for its first cell factory in Salzgitter today. The company announces multi-billion investments, large sales numbers and tens of thousands of jobs in Europe alone.
Production will start in 2025, a press release reads. With immediate effect, responsibility for global battery business is to be held by the newly created company “PowerCo”. In addition to cell production, the new company will be responsible for activities along the entire battery value chain.
Up to 2030, PowerCo is to invest more than €20 billion together with partners in the development of the business area, to generate annual sales in excess of €20 billion and to employ up to 20,000 people in Europe alone.
Today is a day to celebrate. At the heart of Europe, we are creating a new future-oriented segment and up to 20,000 future-proof jobs, including 5,000 in Salzgitter alone, at the home of VW. Our heartfelt commitment and responsibility for the transformation of our proud engine plant and the exemplary retention of secure jobs for its employees continues, said Daniela Cavallo, Chairwoman of the General and Group Works Council of Volkswagen AG, 9in the press release.
The Salzgitter cell factory is said to be a blueprint and starting point for global battery offensive. Following Salzgitter, the next cell factory is to be established at Valencia. Sites are currently being identified for three further cell factories in Europe. In addition to Europe, PowerCo is also already exploring the possibility of further gigafactories in North America.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said with regard to the groundbreaking ceremony: “Today is a good day for the automotive industry in Germany and Europe. Volkswagen is showing how the future of sustainable, climate-compatible mobility could look. Together, we are laying the foundation for shaping this future to a significant extent in Salzgitter.“
Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG, said: “Today we are not only laying a foundation stone but also marking a strategic milestone. The battery cell business is one of the cornerstones of our NEW AUTO strategy which will make Volkswagen a leading provider of the sustainable, software-driven mobility of tomorrow. Establishing our own cell factory is a megaproject in technical and economic terms. It shows that we are bringing the leading-edge technology of the future to Germany.”
At Salzgitter, unified cells for the volume segment are to be produced from 2025 onwards. In future, the plant is to reach an annual capacity of 40 GWh – enough for about 500,000 electric vehicles. By 2030, the Volkswagen Group intends to operate six cell factories with a total volume of 240 GWh throughout Europe together with partners.