This Week in Batteries – Week 22

Welcome to this week’s battery roundup. The most important news surrounding battery technology and production from Europe and beyond.

VW Might go Public With Battery Division; Looking into Raw Materials Business

In an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt, Thomas Schmall, a member of the board of management of Volkswagen AG, stated that the company is considering taking its battery division public. This would not be about a single plant. This step would only be feasible once several battery cell plants have been established, possibly in cooperation with other technology partners.

Thomas Schmall on Power Day, where VW announced six European battery plants, Credit: VW

On Power Day, VW had announced it would build six European Gigafactories in the coming years. Schmall also added that VW is looking into taking a foothold down the value chain.

“We will also have to go in that direction – looking at the whole process chain from mine to recycling. We have to actively enter the raw materials business”

Thomas Schmall, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group for Technology, and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components

InoBat Plans 32 GWh Battery Plant

Last week InoBat made news with its cooperation with Rio Tinto to establish a European value chain in the battery sector. In the joint project in Serbia, lithium is to be mined but also recycled. Now the company has announced the construction of a large research and development center near Bratislava in 2022. The site also includes a 1 GWh battery plant, which will be scaled up to 32 GWh. Previously, there was talk of 10 GWh.

“Inobat […] will use the new battery centre to identify the optimum cell chemistries to meet the exact requirements of any vehicle maker”


A New Battery Factory in Italy?

Stellantis, the fusion of PSA Groupe and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is considering Italy as the location for ione of its Gigafactories. Only a few weeks ago, it was announced that at least two Gigafactories would be built in Europe and the USA. The decision on the locations would be made this year. Discussions for a possible site in Italy are in the early stages.

Brands that are part of Stellantis. Credit: PSA Groupe

The group also has two other battery plant projects in France and Germany. Government sources state that Stellantis might receive funding as part of Italy’s Recovery Plan.

Tesla Submits Building Application Including Battery Plant

Tesla has officially submitted to the Brandenburg Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Climate Protection the revised application under immission control law for the production of battery cells in Grünheide near Berlin as an ancillary facility to the vehicle production plant. The company claims the production of batteries will not put any further strain on the water supply of the region. Water consumption is still expected to be around 1.4 million m3 per year. The next step will be public consultation.

Recommendation: Battery Pub

If you’re interested in the European battery landscape and if you want to share your opinion on new topics, I have a great event for you: on June 11, the first “Battery Pub” will take place, the equivalent of the American “Battery Brunch”, where you will be able to converse on all kinds of battery-related topics. It’s organized by a small group of battery enthusiasts. The event on 11.06 at 16:00 BST is adjusted to the European time zones, but it is emphasized that everyone is invited to participate.

This is not a complete list of news from this week but the press releases and articles I found the most interesting. Let me know if I missed anything important.

You can also follow me on Twitter (@BatteryBayEU), where I post some of the news before they end up in my weekly roundup. I’m looking forward to learning about your involvement or interest in the industry and chatting about everything batteries.

Also, please feel free to use the comment section below to leave any feedback or suggestions!

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