Volkswagen aims to halve battery costs with new single-cell format, will open six gigafactories

Up to 80 percent of all Volkswagen Group electric vehicles will adopt a single-cell battery by 2030.

Volkswagen is targeting reducing battery costs for entry-level electric vehicles by as much as 50 percent, with the help of a single-cell battery pack it is currently working on. At the first-ever Volkswagen Power Day, the company announced it is currently working on a single-cell format battery, which will be adopted by up to 80 percent of all electric vehicles from the VW Group by 2030. This single-cell battery will be produced in-house by Volkswagen and will be launched in 2023.

Speaking at the Power Day, Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen Group Board Member for Technology, said, “We aim to reduce the cost and complexity of the battery and at the same time increase its range and performance. This will finally make e-mobility affordable and the dominant drive technology.”

Volkswagen says battery costs will drop by as much as 50 percent for entry-level EVs with the single-cell battery. Image: Volkswagen

Volkswagen says battery costs will drop by as much as 50 percent for entry-level EVs with the single-cell battery. Image: Volkswagen

According to Volkswagen, the adoption of the new, unified cell will also bring down battery costs for volume segment EVs by 30 percent.
“We will use our economies of scale to the benefit of our customers when it comes to the battery too. On average, we will drive down the cost of battery systems to significantly below €100 per kilowatt hour”, added Schmall.

In its statement, the company added that the unified cell also offers the ‘best conditions for the transition to the solid-state cell’, which it believes is the next quantum leap in battery technology and expects to make the transition to solid-state batteries by 2025.

To scale up production of batteries, Volkswagen has announced it will open six gigafactories in Europe by 2030. Each gigafactory is expected to have an annual capacity of up to 40 gWh, bringing the total energy value up to 240 gWh once all gigafactories are functional.

The first two factories will operate in the Swedish city of Skellefteå, and in Salzgitter, Germany. Volkswagen will begin production of ‘premium cells’ at the Sweden plant in collaboration with Northvolt starting 2023. The Salzgitter plant will produce unified cells for the high-volume segment starting 2025. Both gigafactories will be powered by electricity derived from renewable energy sources. Potential sites and partners are currently being considered for the other factories, Volkswagen said in its statement.

Additionally, Volkswagen will install 18,000 public fast-charging points in Europe, and as many as 17,000 fast-charging points in China, by 2025. With its unified cell battery, Volkswagen says fast-charging times, too, will drop drastically to as little as 12 minutes by the middle of the decade.

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