Bosch, VW to set up European battery equipment joint venture

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

VW and Bosch are exploring a joint venture to supply integrated battery production systems as well as maintenance support to the growing number of battery cell and system manufacturers in Europe.

The companies are aiming for cost and technology leadership in the industrialization of battery technology and the volume production of sustainable, cutting-edge batteries, starting with theVolkswagen’s plans to build six cell factories by 2030. VW sees a total yearly capacity of around 700 gigawatt-hours by 2030.

“Europe has the unique chance to become a global battery powerhouse in the years to come. There is a strong and growing demand for all aspects of battery production, including the equipment of new gigafactories,” said Thomas Schmall, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group in charge of Technology and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components. “Volkswagen and Bosch will explore opportunities to develop and shape this novel, multibillion-euro industry in Europe. Our decision to actively engage in the vertical integration of the battery-making value chain will tap considerable new profit pools. Setting out to establish a fully localized European supply chain for e-mobility made in Europe certainly marks a rare opportunity in business history.”

The two groups are setting up a project unit to explore the possibilities of industrial-scale solutions for battery manufacturing in Europe by the end of 2022. At the same time, VW is spinning out its battery manufacturing operations into a separate company that will be a ky customer for the venture.

The companies aim to supply the entire range of processes and components needed for the large-scale manufacture of battery cells and systems, using the expertise of VW in cell manufacturing and the Bosch know-how in factory automation and systems integration.

“Together with Volkswagen, we seek a path to industrialize production processes for battery cells with standardized equipment. We have the best prerequisites for this: Bosch is not only the world’s biggest automotive supplier, but also one of the leading suppliers of factory equipment,” said Rolf Najork, Member of the Board of Management of Robert Bosch Group and Chairman of the Executive Board of Bosch Rexroth. “We understand how battery technology works, and know how to manufacture it. With more than 135 years of automotive experience and our proven industrialization 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.”

The move will compete with ABB, Manz and Siemens that have been working on industrial automation sytems with battery makers.;

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