Volkswagen and Bosch Want To Industrialize Manufacturing Processes For Battery Cells

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  • Common goal to achieve cost and technology leadership in equipping cell production factories in Europe
  • Partners to provide production systems and digitalization solutions as well as ramp-up and maintenance support

The Volkswagen Group and the Bosch Group have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the establishment of a European battery equipment solution provider. The two companies plan to supply integrated battery production systems as well as on-site ramp-up and maintenance support for battery cell and system manufacturers. The companies are aiming for cost and technology leadership in the industrialization of battery technology and the volume production of sustainable, cutting-edge batteries. Through the “local for local” production approach, this will also be a step towards the objective of carbon-neutral mobility. In Europe alone, the Volkswagen Group plans to build six-cell factories by 2030.

Signing on January 17, 2022: (front row, l.to r.) Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen Group Board Member for Technology; Frank Blome, Head of Battery Volkswagen Group, Sebastian Wolf, Head of Operations Battery Cell Volkswagen Group. (back row, l. to r.) Günter Krenz, General Manager Bosch Manufacturing Solutions, Rolf Najork, Member of the Board of Management, Robert Bosch GmbH, Aemen Bouafif, Assistant to the Bosch Board of Management.

The Volkswagen Group and the Robert Bosch Group are setting up a project unit to explore the possibilities of industrial-scale solutions for battery manufacturing in Europe. The corresponding memorandum of understanding was signed yesterday by Thomas Schmall, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group in charge of Technology and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components, and Rolf Najork, Member of the Board of Management of Robert Bosch Group and Chairman of the Executive Board of Bosch Rexroth.

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The companies aim to supply the entire range of processes and components needed for the large-scale manufacture of battery cells and systems. The industry-wide demand is enormous: In Europe alone, various companies plan to build cell factories with a total yearly capacity of around 700 gigawatt-hours by 2030.

For both partners, this alliance is a further step towards playing leading roles in the world of e-mobility. The partnership will draw on complementary areas of expertise: While Volkswagen is an accomplished at-scale automaker and is on its way to becoming a major battery cell manufacturer, Bosch has excellent know-how in factory automation and systems integration.

Thomas Schmall commented: “Europe has the unique chance to become a global battery powerhouse in the years to come. There is a strong and growing demand for all aspects of battery production, including the equipment of new gigafactories. Volkswagen and Bosch will explore opportunities to develop and shape this novel, multibillion-euro industry in Europe. Our decision to actively engage in the vertical integration of the battery-making value chain will tap considerable new profit pools. Setting out to establish a fully localized European supply chain for e-mobility made in Europe certainly marks a rare opportunity in business history.”

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Rolf Najork stated: “Together with Volkswagen, we seek a path to industrialize production processes for battery cells with standardized equipment. We have the best prerequisites for this: Bosch is not only the world’s biggest automotive supplier, but also one of the leading suppliers of factory equipment. We understand how battery technology works, and know how to manufacture it. With more than 135 years of automotive experience and our proven industrialization expertise, we want to serve the growing demand for batteries. European industry has the potential to become a technology driver for the ecological transformation of the economy.”

Volkswagen and Bosch have formed the project unit with the target of preparing the establishment of the new company by the end of 2022.

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