After unveiling a concept for a mobile fast-charging station powered by a 360 kWh battery pack last month. Volkswagen announced it plans to bring the product to market and manufacture it itself at its Hanover components plant. Its superior production goals aside, the German manufacturer’s latest green move could see it kick start Europe’s car battery industry.
VW said that it will start building car batteries as well as recycling old cells and mobile EV charging stations. With that VW is promising to pump $870 million (£754 million) into the venture by 2020.
Thomas Schmall, head of Volkswagen Group Components said, “Thanks to our manufacturing depth and product strength, we can measure ourselves with our best competitors. We are now sharpening our profile in the e-mobility field.”
The company previewed its mobile charging station last month, whose 360kWh charging capacity and 100kW DC quick charging can sustain up to 15 EVs in an average time of 17 minutes. VW said the charging stations for electric cars will be produced at its plant in Hanover, Germany. And that will stop making the regular engines and castings it currently makes in 2026.
This will help to “contribute to safeguarding employment.” The charging stations will be rolling out to more cities in 2020 and VW’s ultimate goal is to reuse car batteries to power them, the company added.
Aside from being beneficial for the company, VW’s battery push could also turn out to be good for competition. The bulk of Europe’s batteries come from Asia, but a big regional player getting into the production game could help offset that reliance. And even push other auto-makers chasing the same electric dream to follow suit.