• VW Group aims to reduce the cost of battery technology by 50 per cent
  • ‘We aim to reduce the cost and complexity of the battery and at the same time increase its range and performance’ – VW
  • Germany-based company plans to build 6 battery gigafactories and 18,000 EV charging points across Europe


Germany-based automaker Volkswagen Group (VW) held its first Power Day on Monday when it presented a roadmap for its increased use of EV battery technology out to the year 2030.

A cross between a Kraftwerk concert and a business presentation, VW’s Power Day had less of the fanfare and star power of Tesla’s Battery Day hosted by Elon Musk last September.

Nonetheless, the German carmaker presented its well-thought out strategy for the company to gain a competitive edge in the hotly-contested EV marketplace.

One key theme of the Power Day event is that VW Group wants to focus on one type of standardised battery cell that uses lithium, nickel and manganese in order to reduce unit costs.

“We aim to reduce the cost and complexity of the battery and at the same time increase its range and performance,” Volkswagen Group board member for technology, Thomas Schmall, said.

“This will finally make e-mobility affordable and the dominant drive technology,” he said. The new battery technology will be installed in 80 per cent of VW’s EVs by 2030.

VW’s Power Day event is significant for ASX battery metals companies that are aiming to supply cobalt, copper, lithium and nickel to the EV industry all over the world.


Plans for battery gigafactories, EV charging points

The German carmaker revealed a series of initiatives it is taking to reduce the cost of EV batteries by up to 50 per cent and to recycle up to 95 per cent of its battery raw materials.

VW has plans to build six gigafactories in Europe to produce batteries for its EVs, develop a Europe-wide network of 18,000 fast-charging points for EVs, and collaborate with its suppliers.

“Together with partners, we want to have a total of six cell factories up and running in Europe by 2030 thus guaranteeing security of supply,” said Schmall.

Two of the initial gigafactories will operate in the Swedish city of Skelleftea, and in Salzgitter in Germany, with production due to start in Sweden in 2023.

“We will use economies of scale to the benefit of our customers when it comes to the battery. On average, we will drive down the cost of battery systems to significantly below €100 per kilowatt hour ($153.80/kwh).

According to the German carmaker, its six gigafactories will need to source 200,000 tonnes of lithium per year for their battery cell production.

VW is also seeking long-term supply deals for battery metals and plans to integrate its value chain from raw materials all the way through to recycling used batteries.

The expansion in VW’s network of European charging points for EVs to 18,000 by 2025 represents a five-fold expansion of this network at a cost of €400m.

The automaker also aims to unveil 3,500 fast-charging points for EVs in North America by the end of 2021, and a total of 17,000 EV charging points in China by 2025.


ASX companies involved in battery metals projects

There are numerous ASX companies that are developing battery metals projects for a range of metals and minerals including but not exclusive to graphite, nickel and lithium.

For example, Western Areas (ASX:WSA)  is in talks with potential customers in the EV battery sector for high-grade nickel sulphide from its Odysseus mine development in WA.

Nickel exploration company S2 Resources (ASX:S2R) has been granted an exploration licence for its Ruopas Isovaara nickel prospect in the Scandinavian country of Finland.

Battery materials and technology company Novonix (ASX:NVX) recently completed one of the largest capital raisings for a small cap company in recent years at $146m to progress its expansion plans.

Mineral Commodities’ (ASX:MRC) Skaland graphite project in Norway has one of the world’s highest grades of the material at around 30 per cent carbon with a resource of 1.78 million tonnes.

And, ASX exploration companies are pouring record amounts of cash into their exploration budgets to carry out drilling to develop their Australian and overseas projects.