Bosch, Volkswagen to industrialise manufacturing processes for battery cells
Together, the companies plan to supply integrated battery production systems as well as consider battery cell and system manufacturers for factories, but also sell the technology to third parties. The companies aim to become cost and technology leaders in the industrialisation of battery technology and the mass production of sustainable, state-of-the-art batteries. The planned “local for local” production approach is an important step towards CO2-neutral mobility. In Europe alone, the Volkswagen Group plans to build six cell factories by 2030.
To explore the possibilities for battery production in Europe, the duo is now initially founding a project house. This is to prepare the foundation of a joint venture by the end of 2022. The aim of the joint activities is to supply the entire range of processes and components required for the large-scale production of battery cells and systems.
The industry-wide demand is enormous: in Europe alone, various companies are planning battery cell factories with a total annual capacity of around 700 gigawatt hours by 2030.
The partners see the cooperation as a further step towards leading roles in e-mobility. The partnership is based on complementary competencies: While Bosch has the relevant expertise in factory automation and system integration, Volkswagen, as one of the world’s largest vehicle manufacturers, sees itself on the path to becoming a major battery cell producer.
“Together with Volkswagen, we are looking for a way to industrialise production processes for battery cells with standardised equipment,” explains Rolf Najork, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH and chairman of the board of management of Bosch Rexroth. “We offer the best conditions for this: Bosch is not only one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, but also one of the leading factory equipment suppliers. We understand battery technology and have the know-how to manufacture it. With more than 135 years of experience in the automotive sector and our proven industrialisation 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.”
Thomas Schmall, Chief Technology Officer of the Volkswagen Group comments, “Europe has a unique opportunity to become a global powerhouse for batteries in the coming years. There is strong and growing demand for all aspects of battery production, including equipping new gigafactories. Volkswagen and Bosch are exploring the opportunities to develop and shape this upcoming multi-billion industry in Europe. The decision to actively engage in vertical integration along the battery manufacturing value chain creates significant new business opportunities. We are working to build a fully localised European supply chain for e-mobility ‘made in Europe’ – a historic opportunity in economic history.”