Volkswagen ‘Power Day’ announcements include Unified Cell coming 2023, 6 new battery factories

Volkswagen are desperately trying to turn the corner on their dieselgate scandal by moving aggressively into electric vehicles. We’ve already seen the company produce the ID.3 and ID.4, but...

Volkswagen are desperately trying to turn the corner on their dieselgate scandal by moving aggressively into electric vehicles. We’ve already seen the company produce the ID.3 and ID.4, but overnight we learned more about the future direction of VW, with their ‘Power Day’ event.

During the event we learnt that VW will create 6 new gigafactories to cater for growth in battery demand, on top of existing production. This will occur in a combination of VW and partner efforts for a total production capacity of 240 GWh. By way of comparison, Tesla’s new Gigafactory in Berlin, will have a battery capacity of 250GWh per year. As a 2030 goal, Tesla is aiming for 3TWh of production.

VW are trying to drive down battery cell costs by using a Unified cell architecture across vehicles. This Unified Cell is due in 2023 and by 2030 is expected to land in 80% of VW vehicles, with the remaining 20% reserved under the ‘special cases’ banner and would likely require a different chemistry to support edge cases. VW hope that this standardisation will reduce battery costs by up to 50 percent.

This battery tech initially will by a fairly traditional LFP architecture, but open the door to a solid state battery from Quantumscape. VW claim this battery will offer 50% faster charging and 30% more range, while also being much lighter than existing battery technology. While it remains a few years away, if they can nail solid state (there are many company’s working on this), it will set them up well for the future.

While they didn’t talk about specific battery sizes in upcoming vehicles, they did show a chart that suggested the charge times between 10 and 90% would be as little as 12 minutes.

When it comes to the charging story for potential customers, VW are doing some work there. Thanks a number of deals with charging partners, VW owners will gain access to an additional 18,000 fast-charging points.

“We aim to reduce the cost and complexity of the battery and at the same time increase its range and performance. This will finally make e-mobility affordable and the dominant drive technology.”

Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen Group Board Member for Technology.

You can watch the full presentation below.

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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021
One Comment

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  • David N
    16 March 2021 at 10:47 am

    Thanks Jason.
    Interesting these companies who talk of charging that fast. There is only one problem.
    To charge that quickly you need a minimum of a 350kW charger. There are not many around …. and they’re not cheap, requiring a hefty grid connection.
    (Assuming an 80kWh battery going from 10 to 90% in 12 mins, requires an AVERAGE feed for the whole 12 mins of 320kW. That’s serious power, especially when you consider that all charge rates slow as you near the top end.)

    To put it politely- I’m sceptical.

    Cheers.

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