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Kallanish Kallanish

Knowledge matters Knowledge matters

August, 1st 2021

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JUN 16

Letting EVs run on coal is regulatory nonsense: Volkswagen ceo


Volkswagen Group’s ceo Herbert Diess has criticised climate change pledges from the G7 leaders, particularly its stance on coal-power generation, Kallanish reports.

The executive leading the group’s e-mobility transformation reacted to the G7 commitments on Twitter.

“That’s not enough, G7. Disappointing outcome. We need to exit coal much earlier! EVs are key to reach the climate goals 2030. But EVs only make sense with green energy, letting EVs run on coal is regulatory nonsense,” he posted.

Earlier this month, the German carmaker said it pumped another $620 million (€500m) into Swedish battery partner Northvolt, maintaining its 20% equity share in the company. Volkswagen had already invested about €900m in the company in June 2019. The investment guarantees Volkswagen access to up to 40 gigawatt-hours of battery production capacity at Northvolt’s Ett gigafactory in Skellefteå.

Thomas Schmall, group board member for technology and ceo of Volkswagen Group Components, said that batteries are one of the key “success factors” in the company’s unprecedented electric offensive.

“In the major area of green battery cells, we are assuming a pioneering role in Germany and Europe together,” he says, adding two of VW’s gigafactories announced to date will run on 100% renewables power.

Its major business model change from an automaker into a vertical integrated technology company requires VW to secure direct access for raw materials. Its plans include the commissioning of six cell manufacturing gigafactories in Europe by 2030. A 40 GWh plant in Salzgitter, Germany, is planned to enter operation in 2025.

Location and partners for the next cell plants “are already being considered,” the company has said. These are likely to include a factory in Spain in partnership with Seat, Iberdrola and the Spanish government.

Other than cell manufacturing, VW is also in a race to ensure supply of raw materials such as lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite – set to account for around 80% of a cell cost --, as well as components such as semiconductors. 

Gabriela Farhangi UK