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VW CEO: building a battery factory to support electric car production ‘makes sense’ now


After the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal, Volkswagen has come out as one of the major automakers most committed to electric cars. Earlier this year, the company announced its plan to build 2 to 3 million all-electric cars a year and to unveil 30 new models by 2025 – across all its brands (VW, Audi, Porsche, etc.).

Tesla is aiming for similar volumes and we all know what the company did in order to secure the battery supply to support that kind of electric car production; the Gigafactory. Earlier this year, an insider report came out saying that Volkswagen was about to present to its board of directors a project similar to Tesla’s Gigafactory and build a ‘multi-billion euro battery factory’, but Volkswagen CEO, Matthias Müller, later denied the plan.

VW’s management is apparently now more open to the idea of Volkswagen building its own battery factory following a restructuring of the company announced last week.

Last Friday, VW announced a deal with its labor unions to cut 30,000 jobs within its current operations while creating 9,000 new jobs in new operations including, battery and electric vehicle production, and mobility services, like car-sharing.

It looks like Volkswagen warmed up to the idea of owning its battery manufacturing. Müller told a local newspaper (via Reuters):

“If more than a quarter of our cars are to be electronic vehicles in the in the foreseeable future then we are going to need approximately three million batteries a year. Then it makes sense to build our own factory.

With its current electric vehicles, like the new 2017 e-Golf unveiled last week, and the ones already scheduled for production, like Audi etron quattro planned for 2018, Volkswagen is already committed to source battery cells from LG Chem and Samsung.

Most of the “30 new EVs” Volkswagen plans to bring to market by 2025 haven’t been announced yet, but among the few that we already know about, there’s also the Porsche Mission E, which is reportedly planned for 2019, and a recently unveiled all-electric & autonomous ‘I.D. concept’ car with ‘over 250 miles range’, which could hit the market by 2020, according to the company.

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