VW announces its own Tesla-like battery day, will produce cells in Spain

VW has announced plans to have a “Power Day,” which is expected to be a Tesla-like battery day to announce the automaker’s plans to secure battery cell supply.

Battery cell supply is believed to be the biggest bottleneck to accelerate the auto industry’s transition to electric vehicles.

Last year, Tesla held its highly anticipated “Battery Day,” an event during which the automaker unveiled its new battery cell developed in-house and its plan to increase battery supply by producing its own battery cells.

Now Volkswagen is expected to hold a similar event.

They announced the event in a tweet in which they said that “it is not a car presentation” and while it’s called “Power Day,” the announcement features a battery:

Volkswagen is expected to update its plan to secure battery supply in order to enable its electric vehicle production ramp.

Earlier this week, VW announced an acceleration of its shift to electric cars with plans for 50% of its vehicles to be all-electric in US and China by 2030 and 70% in Europe over the same timeline.

To date, the German automaker has focused on issuing long-term battery supply contracts worth $48 billion with existing battery manufacturers.

The contracts are estimated to be for about 300 GWh of battery cells.

VW split those billions worth of contracts between several companies: Samsung SDI, LG Chem , SK Innovation, and CATL.

But the company has also started to become increasingly involve in battery cell development and production to partnerships with companies like NorthVolt and QuantumScape.

Through joint ventures with those companies, VW will own some battery cell production capacity in the near future.

Along with the Power Day announcement, CEO Herbert Diess also confirmed plans to build battery cells in Spain as part of the conversion of their Martorell factory:

Our plans are bold: Conversion of Martorell into a fully electric car plant, local cell production in Spain, buildup of infrastructure for fast charging and green energy…

More details should be announced on March 15 during VW’s Power Day.

Electrek’s Take

Before anyone says, “They are just copying Tesla,” I want to make clear that this is a good thing if you are pro-EV.

I have been saying it for a while, but legacy automakers need to be copying Tesla’s moves if they want to accelerate their electrification effort.

They need to act like they don’t have a gasoline-vehicle business to protect, just like Tesla.

Volkswagen has proven to be among the legacy automakers most willing to do that, though I’d argue that there’s room for them to be even more aggressive.

Hopefully, we see some of that during Power Day.

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