Volkswagen Group has entered into three new partnerships designed to strengthen its position in the field of battery technology.
The new partners are the materials technology group Umicore, the battery specialist 24M Technologies, and cleantech company Vulcan Energy Resources.
Volkswagen and Umicore plan to establish a joint venture designed to supply the vehicle manufacturer’s European cell factories with cathode materials.
The intention is to gradually ramp up production capacity, starting in 2025 with initial production of 20 GWh for the Volkswagen gigafactory in Salzgitter, Germany.
VW is also investing in Cambridge-based battery start-up 24M, a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Its goal is to industrialise the 24M technology, a semi-solid process that is an improvement over the dry coating process, in the automotive battery area.
Meanwhile, Vulcan Energy Resources is to supply CO2-neutral lithium to VW from the Upper Rhine Valley in Germany, focused on providing lithium hydroxide over a period of five years starting in 2026.
Vulcan is currently developing a project to produce this lithium using a local and lithium-rich geothermal brine.
Thomas Schmall, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group for Technology and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components: “Volkswagen is implementing its battery strategy very consistently and at a high pace.
“Volkswagen’s unified cell must be at the forefront of performance, costs and sustainability right from the start.
“With our new partners, we are one step closer to reaching this goal. Together, we will focus on key parts of the battery value chain and develop cutting-edge technologies.”
Volkswagen Group plans to build six Gigafactories in Europe by 2030.