VW Group outlines next-gen battery plans at Tesla-like Power Day

March 15, 2021 0 By boss

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VW’s Unified Battery Cell will form the electric heart of its future models.


Volkswagen

Taking a page out of Elon Musk and Tesla’s playbook, on Monday, the Volkswagen Group outlined its next-generation battery and charging strategy in its first Power Day presentation. The German automaking giant detailed plans to move a majority of its forthcoming electric vehicle range to a single next-generation battery format in a virtual seminar.

Dubbed “Unified Battery Cell,” this new prismatic format will enter production in 2023 and go on to form the heart of 80% of the company’s EVs by 2030. The remaining 20% of production will rely on special chemistries for unique usage cases — ultra-high-performance models (e.g. Porsche models and race cars) and heavy-duty commercial trucks among them.

VW’s goal is to cut battery costs by up to 50% in these standard cells, and to ensure up to 95% recyclability. According to a press release, “Volkswagen intends to gradually reduce the cost of batteries in the entry-level segment by up to 50 percent and in the volume segment by up to 30 percent.” As noted by Reuters, it’s not immediately clear what this largely in-house program means for the Volkswagen Group’s existing pouch-style battery partners, which include Korea’s LG and SK Innovation.

VW officials outlined plans for 240 gigawatt hours of battery capacity in six European factories by the end of this decade, including 40gWh plants in SkellefteƄ, Sweden (coming online in 2023), and in Salzgitter, Germany in 2025.

Consumers will first be able to experience this next-gen power in the company’s forthcoming Artemis platform, which is now in development at Audi, one of VWAG’s luxury brands.

Volkswagen also revealed plans to ramp its European charging network to 18,000 charge points in the near term — a quintupling versus today’s footprint — with partners like BP of England, Iberdrola of Spain and Enel of Italy. VW is planning 8,000 150kW high-speed chargers at BP and Aral gas stations, primarily in Germany and the UK. In the US, plans call for 3,500 new fast-charging locations by 2023, and a further 17,000 charge points in China by 2025. Electrify America, the company’s US charging arm, says it is averaging four new network-point installations per week, and it expects to have 800 stations up and running in North America by the end of 2021.

In the near term, on the back of its new ID range of EV models that are just now entering dealers worldwide, Volkswagen expects to double global Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) sales to become between 6 and 8 percent of the company’s range of vehicles. The first of these models to be offered in the US and Canada is the ID 4 compact crossover.

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