October 3, 2019: A pilot line for small-series battery cell production was opened with fanfares at Volkswagen’s Center of Excellence at Salzgitter, Germany at the end of September. This will be followed by construction of a 16GWh battery cell factory to start in 2020. Production should start by early 2024.
The move is part of a huge investment Volkswagen Group is making in building up battery cell development and production know-how in Germany.
Over €1 billion ($1.1 billion) is to be invested in the Volkswagen Group’s battery cell activities over the same period.
In a first step, Volkswagen is investing more than €100 million in amassing its own development and production know-how. Volkswagen is also investing around €900 million in joint battery activities with the Swedish battery producer Northvolt.
In Salzgitter (Lower Saxony), more than 1,000 jobs are to be created by 2023/24 for testing and producing battery cells — 300 jobs at Volkswagen’s development centre and pilot line, 700 in a joint venture between Northvolt and Volkswagen, to build and operate a battery cell factory.
Stefan Sommer, a VW board member, said: “Bringing together the development, testing and pilot production of battery cells in Salzgitter marks a further milestone in the Volkswagen Group’s comprehensive electric offensive.
“By pooling know-how at this site, we are making sure we drive forward our own activities to advance the development of battery cells as a key component in electrification, develop new standards and swiftly transition them to series production.”
A battery recycling pilot line is also under construction in Salzgitter and should begin operating in 2020.