how Volkswagen wants to counter Chinese domination

Volkswagen will invest 3,000 million euros with the Belgian materials specialist Umicore. Goal: equip 2.2 million electric vehicles per year. The German group is trying to thwart Chinese supremacy. Europe remains extremely dependent on the former Middle Kingdom in the electric vehicle value chain.

takes its sourcing of electric cars very seriously. PowerCo, a subsidiary of the German car manufacturer dedicated to batteries, has thus signed an important agreement with the Belgian specialist in materials Umicore (4,000 million euros in turnover, 11,000 people, 46 production plants around the world), they announced this Monday. the two groups. At stake: an investment of 3,000 million euros.

The two companies will produce enough “cathodes and prematerials” to equip “2.2 million fully electric vehicles a year” by the end of the decade, according to a joint press release.

The future joint venture, in which the partners will invest equally, is expected to start production in 2025 and initially supply PowerCo’s cell plant in Salzgitter, Lower Saxony, to reach an annual capacity of 40 gigawatt hours in 2026. capacity must be multiplied by four in 2030 according to the evolution of the market.

50% of the total cell value

The cathode material accounts for “about 50% of the total value of the battery cell” and therefore its performance, says Thomas Schmall, a member of the board of directors in charge of technology. The joint venture, whose name will be announced later, will be based in Brussels and will supply much of the needs of future Volkswagen “gigafactories” in Europe. It is “a further step forward for a more independent and resilient Europe in the electric vehicle supply chain,” adds Thomas Schmall.

European independence and sovereignty in terms of electric cars is an important strategic issue. And there is still everything to do, since Europe, which has decided to ban new non-electric cars from 2035, is today largely subject to… .

Because the old Middle Kingdom controls “75% of the global production chain, 50% of the total value of a model […]

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