On today’s podcast:
- VW Power Day
- 50% battery cost reduction by using a unified cell
- Building 6 gigafactories with a production capacity of 240GWh per year (~5 million car / year)
- “Northvolt Ett” in Sweden to be expanded up to 40 GW, 14billion Euro contract to be lead supplier in Europe
- VW buyging Northvolt’s share of their Salzgitter joint venture. Opens 2025 a purely VW venture.
- 18,000 fast-charging points: European network to be expanded five-fold with partner
- From next year they build in bidirectionality to the MEB platform
Good morning, good afternoon and good evening wherever you are in the world, welcome to EV News Daily for Monday 15th March. It’s Martyn Lee here and I go through every EV story so you don’t have to.
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VW POWER DAY
“The goal of the roadmap is to significantly reduce the complexity and cost of the battery in order to make the electric car attractive and viable for as many people as possible. At the same time, the Group is aiming to secure the supply of battery cells beyond 2025. In Europe alone, six gigafactories with a total production capacity of 240 GWh are to be established by the end of the decade. Volkswagen is also vigorously pursuing expansion of the public fast-charging network globally. With this in mind, cooperations have been agreed in Europe with the energy companies BP (Great Britain), Iberdrola (Spain) and Enel (Italy).”
The first two factories will operate in the Swedish city of Skellefteå and in Salzgitter. In response to increased demand, Volkswagen has decided to refocus the previous plan in relation to cell production and concentrate production of its premium cells in the Swedish gigafactory “Northvolt Ett” in Skellefteå in collaboration with Northvolt. The production of these cells is set to commence in 2023.
The gigafactory currently operated by Volkswagen in Salzgitter will produce the unified cell for the high-volume segment from 2025 and develop innovations in process, design and chemistry.
VW talked about their factory partners, so this doesn’t sound like they’re building them themselves, not 100%.
It is set to be launched as of 2023 and will be installed across brands in up to 80 percent of all electric vehicles in the Group in 2030. Volkswagen is thus aiming to gradually reduce battery costs in the entry-level segment by up to 50 percent and in the volume segment by up to 30 percent.
15% comes from cell design, 10% production, 5% in the battery system and 20% from teh material costs.
“”We will use our economies of scale to the benefit of our customers when it comes to the battery too. On average, we will drive down the cost of battery systems to significantly below €100 per kilowatt hour.”
The new prismatic unified cell also offers the best conditions for the transition to the solid state cell – the next quantum leap in battery technology, which Volkswagen anticipates for the middle of the decade. They will use cell to pack technology to integrate them into vehicles in a way similar to BYD with their Blade Battery.
According to electrive:” Audi boss Markus Duesmann indicated that the electric sedan developed as part of the Artemis project will be the first to use cell-to-pack technology. During his appearance, Duesmann also confirmed that the vehicle would be launched at the end of 2024, contradicting recent rumours that the vehicle would be delayed until at least 2025. The design phase has been completed and series development has begun”
Current cells used are from LG and SKI are pouch cells. A huge blow to the South Korean companies, a fact not really picked up in the reporting I saw toady. For the worlds largest automaker to say their current technology wasn’t going be used after 2023 would have been a huge blow. Both have invvested many billion of dollars on pouch cell production in China, Europe and U.S. LG builds pouch cells for Tesla, GM and Hyundai, as well as cylindrical 2170 cells for Tesla.
Remember too. LG and SKI are involved in a long running a bitter legal dispute in the U.S. which culminated in VW being told they would lose supply of cells for their Tennessee factory. I thought at the time about how they would be recieved by the German boardroom – now we might have a possible answer.
The new unified cells are slightly larger, but similar in shape, to a VHS casette. They will be made by CATL say rumours, not in the Power Day presentation. Industry experts also believe VW shifting to China for cells from A123 and Guoxuan.
Swedish lithium-ion battery maker Northvolt seperately announced it had received an order worth more than $14 billion over 10 years from VW. VW is also increasing it’s share in Northvolt.
They will use LFP cells for their volume cars. Cells with a high manganese or nickel content are to be used for the larger and more powerful vehicles.
Solid state batteries from their partner QuantumScape will halve the charging time and remove 100kg of weight from the cathode alone. That used a lithium-metal battery with a charge time of 12 mins for a typical EV.
Along with its partners, the company intends to operate about 18,000 public fast-charging points in Europe by 2025. This represents a five-fold expansion of the fast-charging network compared to today and corresponds to about one third of the total demand predicted on the continent for 2025.
Volkswagen wants to establish about 8,000 fast-charging points throughout Europe together with BP. The fast-chargers with a charging capacity of 150 kW will be installed at a total of 4,000 BP and ARAL service stations, with the majority of these in Germany and Great Britain. In cooperation with Iberdrola, Volkswagen will cover main traffic routes in Spain. In Italy, Volkswagen wants to collaborate with Enel to establish the fast-charging network both along motorways and in urban areas. Volkswagen will invest about €400 million in the European programme as a whole by 2025, with further investments being borne by external partners.
Electrify America is planning around 3,500 fast-charging points in North America by the end of the year. In China, a total of 17,000 fast-charging points are being targeted by Volkswagen by 2025 through the CAMS joint venture.
Volkswagen intends to integrate the electric car in private, commercial and public energy systems in the future. This will allow green electricity from the solar energy system to be stored in the vehicle and fed back into the home network if needed. Not only will customers be more independent of the public power grid, they will also save money and reduce CO2 emissions. Models based on Volkswagen’s own MEB platform will support this technology from 2022. Volkswagen will also offer a complete package with all modules and digital services – from the bidirectional wall box to energy management.
Bloomberg said: “The push will cost some $29 billion and would make VW and its partners the world’s second-largest cell producer after China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd., according to BloombergNEF. After years of trailing Tesla and the bruising experience of the diesel-emissions cheating crisis, VW has switched gears to reorganize a sprawling behemoth from the ground up. The company boasts the industry’s most comprehensive EV push, with intentions to add about 50 purely battery-powered vehicles to its lineup by 2030.”
I think it also tightens VW grip on the supply chains. Others are on notice.
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