VW 'to invest £8bn in battery factory' in a bid to reinvent itself as electric carmaker
Volkswagen is reportedly to invest up to €10bn (£7.6bn) in a major new battery factory as it attempts to reposition itself as a leader in the electric car market.
The move is part of a bid by VW to reinvent itself in the wake of the damaging emissions-rigging scandal.
The company had already announced ambitious plans to sell one million electric and hybrid vehicles a year by 2025 and to invest more in batteries.
It is now understood that Matthias Müller, the chief executive of VW Group, is to put plans for a massive new battery factory before the company’s supervisory board next month.
“We want a big hit, which will put us at the forefront of the industry,” a company source told Germany's Handelsblatt newspaper.
A spokesman for VW described the report as “speculation”.However, as we saw yesterday the battery makers are very dependent on Asian supply chains:
But there is no doubting VW’s drive to corner a major share of the electric market as it tries to restore its image after the diesel emissions sandal, which will cost the company billions in recalls, fines and litigation fees.
Earlier this year, Mr Müller vowed to “make electric cars one of VW’s new hallmarks”.
If it goes ahead with plans for a battery factory, VW will be following the lead of the US electric carmaker Tesla, which is currently building its own “Gigafactory” in Nevada.
Together with Panasonic, Tesla is investing up to $5bn (£3.4bn) in the facility. Once operational, Elon Musk, the Tesla chief executive, says it will produce more batteries a year than were made worldwide in 2013.
The rationale behind car makers building their own battery factories is to give them independence from the Asian manufacturers which currently dominate the market....MORE