VW Might Choose China as Site of Battery Plant

Volkswagen might be looking to China as the site of their new, rumored battery plant. Sources say that the company could invest billions in one or more plants in the country, which is currently pushing electromobility.

There were rumors earlier this year that VW would investing nearly $11 billion into a battery factory, and with CEO Matthias Müller’s assertion that the Group would sell up to 3 million electric vehicles a year by 2025, investment in battery technology seems like all but a foregone conclusion.

On top of that, as it stands, Europe only currently has a battery cell capacity of 27 gigawatt hours for the entire automotive industry. Volkswagen estimates that it will need 150 GWh to power its fleet.

A source close to senior management tells Automotive News that getting up to that number would require around 10 factories, each of which costs roughly $2 billion, for a total of about $20 billion.

As a result, Volkswagen will be looking for some help covering the costs. Enter China, which is currently pushing to get fossil-fuel-powered cars off their roads in an attempt to help clear some of the smog in their city centers. As a result, electric vehicles are likely to catch on there and research dollars are likely to be funneled into battery technology.

Further, Volkswagen is currently involved in joint ventures with Shanghai Automotive and FAW, so they might be willing to pick up some of the tab.

With so much battery power needed to power the fleet that Volkswagen is planning, it is likely that factories will have to be built in many countries. Since China is primed for the technology, though, it seems the likely first place for such a factory.

[source: autonews.com]