Volkswagen Group plans to build six gigafactories across Europe by 2030 to help ‘meet increasing demand for battery cells’.
It comes as the firm aims to switch 80 per cent of its EV vehicle line-up to a single battery format by 2030, speeding up production and driving down the cost of its electric vehicles in the process.
A single battery format will see many of Volkswagen Group’s cars using the same energy storage system, resulting in a more streamlined creation process. This will, in turn, lower the cost for consumers.
Announced as part of Volkswagen Group’s Power Day event, the creation of the factories will begin with sites in Sweden, building on a Volkswagen gigafactory already in operation there. This plant will begin producing unified cells from 2023.
A unified cell will deliver ‘enormous cost savings from 2023’ according to Volkswagen.
Herbert Diess, chairman of the board of management of the Volkswagen Group, said: “E-mobility has become a core business for us. We are now systematically integrating additional stages in the value chain. We secure a long-term pole position in the race for the best battery and best customer experience in the age of zero emission mobility”.
The new ‘Unified Cell Concept’ will start to become incorporated into new models from 2023, with the single cell used by 80 per cent of Volkswagen Group’s EVs from 2030.
Volkswagen has also announced the expansion of a fast-charging EV network developed through partnerships with suppliers in various countries. The company intends to operate around 18,000 public fast chargers across Europe by 2025, achieved through these partnerships. In the UK, this will be with BP. Volkswagen is looking to invest around €400 million (£343m) in this European programme by 2025.