Volkswagen is targeting Tesla with its own European giants

FRANKFURT: Volkswagen plans to secure battery cell supplies and expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Europe as it speeds up efforts to bypass Tesla and make so-called e-mobility cheaper.

The world’s No. 2 carmaker, which is in the midst of a major shift towards battery-powered cars, said on Monday that it plans to establish six battery cell production plants in Europe by 2030, which it will build alone or with partners.

“E-mobility has become a core business for us. We are now systematically integrating additional stages in the value chain,” CEO Herbert Dees told VW’s Power Day.

Volkswagen said the plants would have a capacity of 240 gigawatt hours per year.

“We believe in a long-standing position in the race for the best battery and the best customer experience in an era of zero-emission mobility,” added Deiss.

The group also said it will enter partnerships with British oil giant and major European utility company Enel and Iberdrola to expand electric vehicle charging.

The lack of infrastructure is still seen as a major obstacle to the mass adoption of battery cars.

Volkswagen said it plans to have a new unified prismatic cell design from 2023, which will support cost reductions resulting from the high level of cell production in-house.

“On average, we will reduce the cost of battery systems to much less Volkswagen board member Thomas Schmall said: 100 per kilowatt-hour.

“This will finally make e-mobility more affordable and the dominant driving technology.”

Electric vehicle makers, including Tesla, currently use cylindrical battery cells, similar to lamp batteries, that are relatively inexpensive and easy to manufacture.

Prismatic cells, which resemble a thin hardback book, are housed in a rectangular metal case and are more expensive. Bag cells are thinner and lighter, and resemble a flexible metal mailing envelope.

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence said in December that the cost of battery cells used in electric cars had dropped to an average of US $ 110 per kilowatt-hour.

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