VW and Bosch sign Memorandum of Understanding for supply of battery factory equipment

The VW Group and Bosch have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore the possibility of establishing a European battery equipment solutions provider by the end of this year.

The two companies plan to provide integrated battery production systems, on-site ramp-up and maintenance support for battery cell and battery system manufacturers. They say they are aiming for cost and technology leadership in industrial-scale battery technology and volume production of “long-lasting, cutting-edge batteries.”

Through the “local for local” production approach, it is also claimed that the movement is a step towards the goal of carbon neutral mobility. In Europe alone, the Volkswagen Group plans to build six cell factories by 2030.

The MoU was signed by Rolf Najork, Member of the Board of Management of Robert Bosch GmbH and Chairman of the Board of Management of Bosch Rexroth, and Thomas Schmall, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Group responsible for technology and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components.

In Europe alone, various companies are planning to build cell factories with a total annual capacity of around 700 gigawatt hours by 2030.

The partnership will build on complementary areas of expertise: while Bosch has excellent know-how in factory automation and system integration, Volkswagen is an accomplished large-scale car manufacturer and is in the process of to become a major manufacturer of battery cells.

Rolf Najork said: “Together with Volkswagen, we are looking for a way to industrialize the production processes of battery cells with standardized equipment. We have the best conditions for this: Bosch is not only the largest automotive supplier in the world, but also one of the leading suppliers of factory equipment. We understand how battery technology works and know how to make it. With more than 135 years of automotive experience and our proven expertise in industrialization, we want to meet the growing demand for batteries. European industry has the potential to become a technological engine for the green transformation of the economy.

Thomas Schmall commented: “Europe has the unique chance to become a global battery powerhouse in the years to come. There is strong and growing demand for all aspects of battery production, including equipping new gigafactories. Volkswagen and Bosch will explore the possibilities of developing and shaping this new multi-billion euro industry in Europe. Our decision to actively engage in the vertical integration of the battery manufacturing value chain will unlock significant new revenue streams. Setting out to establish a fully localized European supply chain for e-mobility made in Europe certainly marks a rare opportunity in business history.

The two partners have formed a project unit with the aim of preparing the creation of the new company by the end of 2022.

Leon E. Hill