Volkswagen and Swedish battery maker Northvolt have created a 50/50 joint venture to build a factory for lithium-ion batteries. Construction of the production facility is scheduled to start in Salzgitter, Germany in 2020. The companies plan to start production by the end of 2023 and initially produce 16 GWh per year.
VW has invested €900 million in the project, part of which goes to the joint venture and part of which goes directly to Northvolt. In return, Volkswagen has received about 20% of the shares in Northvolt and a seat on the Supervisory Board.
VW is planning to launch almost 70 new electrified models over the next ten years, and to build some 22 million plug-in vehicles. By 2025, the automaker expects to have an annual demand of more than 150 GWh of battery capacity in Europe, and a similar amount in Asia.
VW Board Member Dr. Stefan Sommer said, “The battery cell is the key component for electric mobility. Therefore, Volkswagen and Northvolt are together pushing ahead efficient cell production in Europe to accelerate their joint battery activities. With the founding of the joint venture and the planned construction of a battery cell factory in Salzgitter, we are making a decisive contribution to establishing the core battery cell technology in Germany as well.”