March 23, 2023: Umicore and VW batteries subsidiary PowerCo said on March 23 they had obtained full regulatory approvals to launch a cathode materials and precursors joint venture headquartered in Brussels.
From 2025, the as yet unnamed joint venture will supply PowerCo’s European battery cell factories with key materials for production.
The search is underway for a production site to produce, by the end of the decade, cathode active materials and precursor cathode active materials for a targeted 160GWh cell capacity per year, which the partners said is equivalent to an annual production capacity capable of powering about 2.2 million fully electric vehicles.
The announcement came after PowerCo said on March 17 it had given the go-ahead to build its second battery cells factory in the Spanish region of Valencia.
The factory will start producing unified cells for VW electric vehicles in 2026 and will have an initial annual production capacity of 40GWh.
Since its launch in July 2022, PowerCo has decided three sites for cell factories — Salzgitter in Germany; Valencia, Spain; and St Thomas in Ontario, Canada.