To make up for its Dieselgate emissions scandal, Volkswagen will start churning out electric vehicles. That means the company needs crap-tons of lithium-ion batteries. To get them, the German automaker is contemplating building its own version of Tesla’s “Gigafactory” battery plant, German newspaper Handelsblatt reports.
After the Dieselgate fiasco, the VW brand took some considerable damage. Between that and a preliminary U.S. court order to “commit other funds to promote green automotive technology,” it only makes sense for VW to start cranking out EVs.
We’ve reported before that VW appears to already be on that track, trying hard to bring the Audi e-Tron and h-Tron quattro to the market as quickly as possible.
The issue Volkswagen may face deals with battery supply; it’s the same problem Tesla has been facing for years. To address the problem, in the summer of 2014, Tesla started construction on its “Gigafactory,” a battery plant whose goal it is to produce 35 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of battery capacity annually.
Tesla says that in order to produce half a million cars annually (that’s its goal for the end of the decade), the company would have to use up the entire world’s lithium-ion production capacity.
Volkswagen wants to build 1 million electric cars in the next 10 years, Handelsblatt says, and to do so, it will need to figure out how to get those sweet, sweet energy storage cells. A multi-billion Euro large battery production facility, like Tesla’s, may be the ticket.
The German newspaper’s VW talked about the idea of a large battery plant, saying: “We want to launch a major initiative, one that will put us at the top of the industry.”
VW’s non-executive board will reportedly be considering the idea in the coming weeks, so hopefully we’ll know soon if the Wolfsburgers are going to get in on the lithium-ion battery production business.