VW to start production of battery-backed fast charger as it restructures for e-mobility

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The station, based aroung a battery powerbank, can charge up to four vehicles at the same time and also be used for the interim storage fore renewable power systems. It will be produced at the Hanover components plant, which currently makes heat exchangers for the engine business, marking a transition to e-mobility component production. The station is based on the battery packs developed by the Volkswagen Group’s Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) and is designed to use its cell modules. The charging station will also provide a second use for batteries that have reached the end of their life in VW electric vehicles.

“The development of charging infrastructure will be a key factor in the success of e-mobility. The flexible fast charging station developed by Group Components can make a key contribution in this area. This is confirmed by the considerable interest shown by potential partners,” said Thomas Schmall, CEO of Volkswagen Group Components. “The charging station is an element in the end-to-end responsibility of Group Components for the high-voltage battery – from the development of cell production competences through to recycling. At the same time, the transformation of heat exchanger production at the Hanover components plant will provide sustainable prospects for the future in the new e-mobility business area.”

From 2020 onwards, flexible charging station production will gradually replace heat exchanger production, retaining the skills of employees at the plant. For example, a heat exchanger developer will be able to deploy his know-how in future for the development of battery cooling systems or the optimization of thermal management.

A pilot project is to start in the summer of 2019 together with the city of Wolfsburg and production of the first fast charging stations will start at the Hanover plant in 2020.

The Hanover plant will be the fourth German components plant producing components for e-mobility. The Brunswick plant develops and produces battery systems for the Group’s electric vehicles, while the Centre of Excellence for battery cells is located at Salzgitter, where it will be joined by, rotor and stator production for electric motors from mid-2019. In the first half of 2020, a pilot plant is to be opened at Salzgitter for the further development of the recycling process for high-voltage batteries. The Kassel plant produces electric motors for the full-electric vehicle generation.

Volkswagen Group Components was formed on 1st January 2019 after three years of preparation to bring together all the in-house suppliers of components including engines, gearboxes, electric drive systems, steering systems and seats, covering 80,000 Group employees at 61 plants around the world.

“We are investing massively in e-mobility,” said Thomas Schmall, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group Components. “In 2019 and 2020 alone, investment in the production of e-mobility components will reach €870 million throughout the Group. The share of investment in e-mobility components has risen from five percent to the current figure of 40 percent. All in all, we are investing a total of €3.8 billion in the production of e-mobility components up to 2023 within the framework of the current planning round.”

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