For the switch to electric cars, Volkswagen is planning several battery cell factories - also overseas. The first agreements on the delivery of the necessary raw materials such as lithium and cobalt have already been signed with Canada. The resource-rich country is also "a logical option" as a factory location.
Volkswagen starts searching for a suitable location for a first battery cell factory in North America. Canada is "a logical option" for settlement, a person with knowledge of the processes told the Reuters news agency. As part of an expansion of the declaration of intent on raw materials signed a few months ago on the sidelines of Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz's visit to Canada, suitable locations were to be defined for them.
Chief Technology Officer Thomas Schmall explained: "PowerCo is about to jump across the Atlantic. The framework conditions in North America are highly attractive. The most competitive location wins the race." The car company has bundled its battery activities in the PowerCo subsidiary.
Volkswagen signed an agreement with Canada in August to secure access to key battery raw materials such as lithium, nickel and cobalt. In addition to building a supply chain in Canada, the Wolfsburg-based company is also planning investments in mining companies. The people of Lower Saxony want to set up six battery cell factories together with partners in Europe alone for the switch to e-cars and need large quantities of raw materials to do so.
Volkswagen had already announced a battery factory in North America and is already considering a second one. The search for a location is exciting in light of the fact that the USA has created incentives for investments in its own country with the so-called Inflation Reduction Act and other industrial policy measures.
In Europe, Volkswagen has joined forces with the Belgian mineral technology and recycling group Umicore. Together, the partners are investing around three billion euros in setting up production capacities for battery materials for e-cars. The VW subsidiary PowerCo also plays a central role here.