VW starts battery cell development in Salzgitter

The Volkswagen Group is setting benchmarks in the development, testing and production of battery cell technology in Germany. In Salzgitter (Lower Saxony) alone, over 1,000 jobs are to be created by 2023/24 for testing and producing battery cells – 300 at Volkswagen’s development centre and pilot line, 700 in a joint venture between Northvolt and Volkswagen to build and operate a battery cell factory. Over one billion euros is to be invested in the Volkswagen Group’s battery cell activities over the same period.

A pilot line for small-series battery cell production was opened at the Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Salzgitter. Some 300 experts are involved in developing, testing and piloting innovative manufacturing technologies for the production of lithium-ion batteries. In a first step, Volkswagen is investing over €100m in amassing its own development and production know-how.

In addition, Volkswagen is investing a further approx. €900m in joint battery activities with the Swedish battery producer Northvolt. Construction of a 16-gigawatt hour battery cell factory in Salzgitter is to start in 2020. It is planned to commence production in late 2023/early 2024. To that end, Volkswagen recently founded a 50/50 joint venture with Northvolt. 700 jobs are to be created in the medium-term in this independent joint venture.

Dr. Stefan Sommer, member of the Volkswagen AG Board of Management responsible for procurement, said: “Bringing together the development, testing and pilot production of battery cells in Salzgitter marks a further milestone in the Volkswagen Group’s comprehensive electric offensive. By pooling know-how at this site, we are making sure we drive forward our own activities to further advance the development of battery cells as a key component in electrification, develop new standards and swiftly transition them to series production.”