From 2025 onward, the joint venture between PowerCo, the new battery business of the Volkswagen Group, and Umicore, the Belgian circular materials technology company, will begin producing precursor and cathode materials in Europe. The partnership will provide European battery cell manufacturers with key chemicals supplied by PowerCo.
The partners’ aim by the end of the decade is to produce cathode material and their precursors for 160 GWh cell capacity annually. This compares to an annual production capacity that could power about 2.2 million full electric vehicles. Cathode active materials are crucial for a successful powertrain transition towards e-mobility because they are key levers affecting battery performance, as well as the biggest single contributor to overall battery cost.
“Cathode material is an indispensable strategic resource for battery production, accounting for roughly fifty percent of overall cell value.” said Thomas Schmall, Group Board Member for Technology at Volkswagen AG and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of PowerCo SE. “Immediate and long-term access to extensive capacity is thus a very clear competitive advantage. We are setting up a sustainable, transparent supply chain with high environmental and social standards, localizing value creation here in Europe.”
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