Back in May, we shared a report from German newspaper Handelsblatt, which has often produced reliable insider reports on the German auto industry, citing insider sources saying that Volkswagen was about to present to its board of directors a plan to build a ‘multi-billion euro battery factory’.
In a new interview with the same newspaper this week, VW CEO Matthias Müller denies plans for the giant electric vehicle battery factory.
Müller told Handelsblatt that while Volkswagen is investigating the entire battery production process chain as part of its plan to build 2 to 3 million all-electric cars a year and unveil 30 new models by 2025, but that building its own factory would be “nonsense”.
EETimes reported Müller’s comments:
Since battery production is a highly automated process, Müller ruled out that such a battery would create a significant amount of jobs. In addition, establishing such a production line would be “extremely expensive.”
Nonetheless, VW will need to clarify its battery strategy and Müller confirmed the company will do that by the end of the year.
The production of 2 to 3 million all-electric vehicles per year will require a capacity similar to Tesla’s Gigafactory, which has been in the work for over 2 years now. While it sounds like VW is leaning more toward partnering with established battery makers, those suppliers will still need to significantly increase their capacity.
Whether Volkswagen builds it or not, a new “Gigafactory” will need to be built if VW really plans to make 2 to 3 million all-electric vehicles per year by 2025.