Volkswagen has announced that it will invest almost 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in battery cell production at a site in western Germany.
Reuters reports that Volkswagen intends on establishing a new battery facility in Lower Saxony and will soon begin talks for another, new multibrand plant somewhere in Europe.
Limited details about Volkswagen’s battery cell production plans have been confirmed, but Germany’s Manager Magazin suggests that the automaker is in negotiations with Korean battery cell manufacturer SK Innovation to partner with to establish a battery Gigafactory in Europe.
Earlier this year, Volkswagen chief executive Herbert Diess said the automaker doesn’t want to become dependent on a few Asian manufacturers of batteries in the long term. Establishing its own battery Gigafactory will allow Volkswagen to ease its reliance on these companies. Volkswagen has a number of lucrative multi-billion dollar supply contracts with the likes of LG Chem and Samsung SDI.
Plans for an expansion of battery production could not come at a better time for Volkswagen as just last week, it opened up the order books for the ID.3, its first mass production all-electric vehicle built from the ground-up. In excess of 10,000 registrations to pre-order the electric hatchback were recorded within 24 hours of the car being made available.
The VW ID.3 will initially be sold in 1ST launch edition guise, limited to just 30,000 units. This model will have a driving range of up to 420 km (261 miles) on the WLTP cycle thanks to its mid-level battery pack. A more affordable version with a smaller battery pack will also be sold, as will a range-topping example with a larger battery pack.