Volkswagen joins Bosch for battery cell manufacturing

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Volkswagen and Bosch plan on becoming the European powerhouse for battery manufacturing

Partnership aims for the industrialisation of battery technology and the volume production of sustainable, cutting-edge batteries.

Volkswagen and Bosch have signed an agreement to explore the establishment of a European battery equipment system supplier. The two companies plan to supply integrated battery production systems as well as on-site ramp-up and maintenance support for battery cell and system manufacturers. Through the “local for local” production approach, this will also be a step towards the objective of carbon-neutral mobility. In Europe alone, the Volkswagen Group plans to build six cell factories by 2030.

The two companies are setting up a project unit to explore the possibilities of industrial-scale solutions for battery manufacturing in Europe. Between them, they aim to supply the entire range of processes and components needed for the large-scale manufacture of battery cells and systems. The industry-wide demand is enormous: In Europe alone, various companies plan to build cell factories with a total yearly capacity of around 700 gigawatt-hours by 2030.

For both partners, this alliance is a further step towards playing leading roles in the world of e-mobility. The partnership will draw on complementary areas of expertise: While Volkswagen is an accomplished at-scale automaker and is on its way to becoming a major battery cell manufacturer, Bosch has excellent know-how in factory automation and systems integration.

Thomas Schmall, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group in charge of Technology and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components believes that Europe has a unique chance to become a global battery powerhouse in the years to come. There is a strong and growing demand for all aspects of battery production, including the equipment of new gigafactories. Volkswagen and Bosch will explore opportunities to develop and shape this novel, multibillion-euro industry in Europe.

“Our decision to actively engage in the vertical integration of the battery-making value chain will tap considerable new profit pools. Setting out to establish a fully localised European supply chain for e-mobility made in Europe certainly marks a rare opportunity in business history,” he says.

Rolf Najork, Member of the Board of Management of Robert Bosch Group and Chairman of the Executive Board of Bosch Rexroth added that together with Volkswagen, the companies are seeking a path to industrialise production processes for battery cells with standardised equipment.

“We have the best prerequisites for this: Bosch is not only the world’s biggest automotive supplier, but also one of the leading suppliers of factory equipment. We understand how battery technology works, and know how to manufacture it. With more than 135 years of automotive experience and our proven industrialisation expertise, we want to serve the growing demand for batteries. European industry has the potential to become a technology driver for the ecological transformation of the economy,” he says.

Volkswagen and Bosch have formed the project unit with the target of preparing the establishment of the new company by the end of 2022.

Jonathan Newell
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