Volkswagen and Bosch explore battery manufacturing joint venture

The Volkswagen Group and Bosch have announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the creation of a European supplier of battery equipment solutions.

The idea is to potentially create a new company that “to provide integrated battery production systems as well as on-site ramp-up and maintenance support for battery cell and system manufacturers.”

Obviously, the Volkswagen Group is interested in such a project because its own strategy includes the in-house development of an all-new “united cell” (in partnership with Gotion High-Tech), for the next scalable systems platform (SSP), and cell production in six gigafactories of batteries in Europe.

The Volkswagen Group needs an industrial partner for its battery ambitions. As we understand, if there was an opportunity to develop a universal solution, also for other gigafactories (other battery manufacturers), it would be an interesting business opportunity.

According to estimates set out in the press release, in Europe alone, industry-wide battery demand will reach 700 GWh per year by 2030.

“The companies are aiming for cost and technology leadership in the industrialization of battery technology and the volume production of durable, cutting-edge batteries. Through the ‘local for local’ production approach, this will also be a step towards the goal of carbon-neutral mobility. In Europe alone, the Volkswagen Group plans to build six cell factories by 2030.”

“For both partners, this alliance is a further step towards leading roles in the world of e-mobility. The partnership will build on complementary areas of expertise: while Volkswagen is an accomplished large-scale car manufacturer and is on its way to becoming a major battery cell manufacturer, Bosch has excellent know-how in automation factory and systems integration.”

For now, this is only an option. If the two partners agree on the venture, the new company could be established by the end of 2022.

Volkswagen Scalable Systems Platform (SSP)

Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen Group Management Board Member for Technology and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components, said:

“Europe has the unique chance to become a global battery powerhouse in the years to come. There is strong and growing demand for all aspects of battery production, including equipping new gigafactories. Volkswagen and Bosch will explore the possibilities of developing and shaping this new multi-billion euro industry in Europe. Our decision to actively engage in the vertical integration of the battery manufacturing value chain will unlock significant new revenue streams. Setting out to establish a fully localized European supply chain for e-mobility made in Europe certainly marks a rare opportunity in business history.

Rolf Najork, Member of the Management Board of the Robert Bosch Group and Chairman of the Management Board of Bosch Rexroth, said:

“Together with Volkswagen, we are looking for a way to industrialize battery cell production processes with standardized equipment. We have the best conditions for this: Bosch is not only the largest automotive supplier in the world, but also one of from leading factory equipment suppliers.We understand how battery technology works and know how to manufacture it.With over 135 years of automotive experience and our proven expertise in industrialization, we aim to meet the growing demand European industry has the potential to become a technological engine for the green transformation of the economy.

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