Herbert Diess during VW’s ‘Power Day’ event in Wolfsburg, on March 15.

Source: Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen AG is stepping up its game to become the worlds biggest electric-car maker with a plan to build six battery factories in Europe and global investments in charging stations.

The manufacturer, which already has agreements for two sites, is exploring options for another four plants for a total capacity of 240 gigawatt-hours by the end of the decade, VW said Monday in a statement. VW has the most comprehensive EV plan in the industry thatll add about 50 purely battery-powered vehicles to its lineup by 2030.

We are now systematically integrating additional stages in the value chain, Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess said. We secure a long-term pole position in the race for the best battery.

The plants will have a capacity of 40 gigawatt-hours each, and VW is looking for partners for four of them for development. The carmaker changed course to construct a site in Salzgitter, Germany, on its own after a

previous plan to join forces with Northvolt AB. The battery firm will still be its partner for a factory at Skelleftea in Sweden, announcing VW will order $14 billion in battery cells.

Emulating

Tesla Inc. as well as

General Motors Co. with a dedicated battery event Monday, dubbed Power Day, VW is giving the deepest dive yet on its strategy to beat a path to an electric future selling millions of EVs. Batteries have emerged as the key battleground with concerns over high costs squeezing margins and supply of raw materials such as nickel and cobalt.

VW to Reveal How Much Its Future Revolves Around Batteries

VW will also invest 400 million euros ($477 million) by 2025 to build out much-needed charging infrastructure in Europe, after the region overtook China in EV sales last year. Fast-charging in Europe will grow five-fold to 18,000 stations, helped by cooperations with BP in the U.K., Iberdrola and Spain and Enel in Italy as well as VWs existing Ionity GmbH consortium.

In North America, VW is adding 3,500 stations for this year and 17,000 points in China by 2025. Cooperations on charging as well as strategic partnerships on batteries will help VW safeguard financial targets including a 6% capital investment ratio by 2025 and an adjusted annual net cash flow of more than 10 billion euros, the carmaker said.

The carmaker aims to at least double its share of deliveries that are fully electric this year, which could bring it within striking distance to Teslas EV sales. After years of trailing Tesla, VWs ID.3 hatchback and the Porsche Taycan based on dedicated underpinnings have

stacked up well.

As carmakers scale up EV offerings, Tesla and other new entrants like Nio Inc. are stepping up their plans. Tesla expects to add a battery-cell factory to the car-assembly plant under construction near Berlin. The site will initially have a capacity of more than 100 gigawatt-hours a year and eventually ramp up to as much as 250 gigawatt-hours, CEO Elon Musk

said during a battery conference in November.

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