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Volkswagen Group secures future battery technology with new partnerships

·2-min read

Volkswagen Group has entered into three new strategic partnerships to help strengthen its knowledge of battery technology.

The first, a joint venture with clean mobility material provider Umicore, will help to supply Volkswagen’s European battery factories with cathode materials – a key component of a battery.

Production is set to commence in 2025 with an initial production of 20GWh at Volkswagen’s gigafactory in Salzgitter, Germany. The end goal is to produce up to 160GWh by the end of the decade – enough capacity to power up to 2.2 million electric cars, according to Volkswagen.

Mathias Miedreich, CEO of Umicore, said: “We are very pleased to become a long-term partner for Volkswagen in achieving its ambitious e- mobility strategy in Europe and in bringing our long-standing and proven expertise in rechargeable battery materials to this unique joint venture,”

“The complementarity of our extensive technology, innovation and industrial know-how, will provide a strong framework to develop next generation battery material technologies, giving us a considerable first-mover advantage in this fast-growing market.”

The next partnership is with 24M Technologies, a Cambridge-based battery start-up linked to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The goal of this partnership is to help reduce costs by lowering material usage and taking away several steps from the regular battery production process. The potential benefits could see 40 per cent less production area and more efficient product recycling. A reduction in the CO2 emitted during battery production could also be seen.

Finally, there’s a long-term agreement with Vulcan Energy Resources. This regards the supply of CO2-neutral lithium from the Upper Rhine Valley in Germany. The product will help Volkswagen secure future in-house battery production both in Germany and Europe.

Managing director Francis Wedin, said: “Through this agreement, Vulcan Energy will become a major enabler of Volkswagen’s world-leading target to produce carbon neutral EVs, including all raw materials in the battery supply chain. We look forward to working closely with Volkswagen Group to build sustainable, local lithium supply for the German and European automotive sector.”

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