VW made some huge announcements during its first Tesla-style Power Day event.
Volkswagen took a page out of Tesla's playbook yesterday with its inaugural Power Day. While there were no crowd-pleasing model reveals like in Tesla's Battery Day, Volkswagen used the event to show how its battery and charging technology will evolve up to 2030.
During the event, Volkswagen announced the development of a new battery system dubbed the "unified cell" that will "reduce the cost and complexity of the battery" while also increasing range and performance compared to VW's current battery tech. According to VW, this will make EVs more affordable and "the dominant drive technology."
This new single battery format will launch in 2023 and will be installed in up to 80 percent of all-electric VW Group electric cars by 2030.
Additional cost-saving measures include optimizing the battery cell type, "innovative production methods", and consistent recycling. VW aims to cut battery costs for entry-level cars by up to 50 percent and up to 30 percent in the volume segment. On average, the automaker estimates the cost of battery systems will be "significantly below" €100 ($119.20) per kilowatt-hour. Switching to this new prismatic unified cell will also allow VW to transition to solid-state batteries offering longer ranges and shorter charge times in the middle of the decade. This won't be easy, however: the technology is notoriously difficult to develop, causing automakers like Fisker to abandon its solid-state battery plans, but VW Group has far more resources than Fisker to pull it off.
To meet the demand for battery cells, VW is expanding its battery production significantly. By 2030, VW will open six gigafactories in Europe to secure a long-term supply of cells for its upcoming EV expansion beyond the ID.3 and ID.4 that will include new models such as the ID.5 and ID.6. Each factory will have a production capacity of up to 40GWh. Combined, these new factories will have a total battery production capacity of up to 240 GWh.
The first two factories will be located in Skelleftea, Sweden, and Salzgitter, Germany. By 2030, 50 percent of VW models will be all-electric in the US and China and 70 percent will be all-electric in Europe. To accompany this massive EV expansion, VW is working with partners to install 18,000 public fast-charging points in Europe by 2025, 17,000 fast chargers in China by 2025, and around 3,500 fast-charging points in North America by the end of the year.