In building our first in-house cell factory, we are consistently implementing our technology roadmap. Power Co will become a global battery player. The company’s major strength will be vertical integration from raw materials and the cell through to recycling. In future, we will handle all the relevant activities in-house and will gain a strategic competitive advantage in the race to take the lead in e-mobility. We have secured a top team for this great undertaking.
Ground breaking in Salzgitter: Volkswagen enters global battery business with PowerCo
Volkswagen establishes a European company (Société Européenne) to consolidate activities along the value chain for batteries – from processing raw materials to developing a unified Volkswagen battery to managing the European gigafactories. The company’s scope will include new business models based around reusing discarded car batteries and recycling the valuable raw materials they contain. The Group is thus creating efficient and future-proof structures for the rapidly growing battery business. As part of its NEW AUTO strategy, the Volkswagen Group is aiming to become the world’s leading manufacturer of electric vehicles. To this end, it is expanding its battery-related activities and making these into one of its core competencies.
PowerCo bundles global battery activities
The Volkswagen Group is bundling its global battery activities in the European company (SE) PowerCo. From Salzgitter, the company will, with immediate effect, manage international factory operations, the further development of cell technology, the vertical integration of the value chain and the supply of machinery and equipment to the factories. Looking ahead, further products such as major storage systems for the energy grid are planned. Following Salzgitter, the next cell factory is to be established at Valencia. Sites are currently being identified for three further cell factories in Europe. In addition to Europe, PowerCo is also already exploring the possibility of further gigafactories in North America.
Standard factory and unified cell enable rapid global rollout
On the occasion of the ground breaking ceremony, the Group presented the concept of the standard factory for the first time; Salzgitter is to be a blueprint for cell factories throughout Europe and will set new standards in terms of sustainability and innovation. Standardization will not only cover equipment, buildings and infrastructure but also products, processes and IT. This way, factories that can rapidly be converted for further product and production innovations will be created. Each factory will be operated 100 percent on electricity from regenerative sources and will be designed for future closed-loop recycling.
Volkswagen also unveiled the prismatic unified cell announced at the Power Day in 2021. This allows the flexible use of a raft of different cell chemistries and will be used in up to 80 percent of all Group models. At Salzgitter, unified cells for the volume segment are to be produced from 2025 onwards. In future, the plant is to reach an annual capacity of 40 GWh – enough for about 500,000 electric vehicles. By 2030, the Volkswagen Group intends to operate six cell factories with a total volume of 240 GWh throughout Europe together with partners. The new unified cell exploits synergy effects and will reduce battery costs by up to 50 percent. The prototypes produced to date have demonstrated highly promising performance with respect to range, charging times and safety – essential prerequisites for a future industrial standard.
- Production will start in 2025
- Each factory will be operated 100 percent on electricity from regenerative sources
- Up to 2030, PowerCo is to invest more than €20 billion in the development of the business area
Top international experts on the six-member Executive Board
Frank Blome will oversee the entire operation as Chief Executive Officer. Blome was born in 1969 in Lingen (Ems). After completing vocational training as an electrician, Blome majored in electrical engineering at the Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences. After holding various positions at Continental AG, he headed two joint ventures that eventually became subsidiaries of Daimler AG: Deutsche ACCUmotive GmbH and Li-Tec Battery GmbH. In 2018, he joined Volkswagen AG and has been Head of the Battery division in the Group's Technology division since 2020.
As Chief Operations Officer, Sebastian Wolf will be responsible for the planning, construction and operation of the planned cell factories in Europe, among other things. This work will include logistics, equipment and recycling. Wolf was born in 1990 in Oelsnitz in the Vogtland region of eastern Germany. After earning his diploma from a college-preparatory high school in Istanbul, Wolf attended the universities Aachen, Bath and Tsinghua in Beijing. The production engineer later held management positions at Bosch and Boston Consulting, among other places, before becoming European CEO of the Chinese battery manufacturer Farasis Energy. Wolf has been Head of Operations Battery Cell in the Battery division since 2021.
As Chief Financial Officer, Kai Alexander Müller will
be responsible for Controlling & Accounting, Treasury, and Investor
Relations, among other things. Müller was born in Frankfurt am Main in
1990. After finishing high school in Brunei, he attended the University
of Oxford, graduating with a master of engineering degree in materials,
economics and management. He held various positions at Berenberg and the
Bank of America before becoming the Head of Automotive Equity at
Barclays in London. Müller helped carrying out several IPOs. At the
beginning of 2022, Müller joined the Volkswagen Group as CFO of the
As Chief Technology Officer, Soonho Ahn will be responsible for technology and product development as well as testing and analytics, among other things. Ahn was born in Seoul in 1960. The chemical engineer first studied in Korea and earned his doctorate in 1992 on the subject of electrochemistry for battery applications at Auburn University in the United States. Following his academic career, he held various management positions at the battery manufacturers LG Chem and Samsung SDI in Korea, where he was most recently head of development. In 2018, he became Global Head of Battery Development at Apple. Ahn became the CTO of the Battery division at the beginning of 2022.
As Chief Purchasing Officer, Jörg Teichmann will be responsible for raw material purchasing, supplier management and value engineering, among other things. Teichmann was born in 1971 in Neustadt an der Orla in the eastern German state of Thuringia. After earning a degree in business administration, he first worked for the automotive supplier Butz leper. He then held various management positions in procurement and supplier management at ZF Friedrichshafen AG. In 2009, he joined the BMW Group as Head of Cost Engineering. In 2016, Teichmann joined Volkswagen AG as Head of Value Engineering and has been the Chief Procurement Officer for Group Components since 2021.
As Chief Human Resources Officer, Sebastian Krapoth will be responsible for human resources, culture & change management and organizational issues, among other things. Krapoth was born in the northern German city of Göttingen in 1970. He earned a degree in psychology and began his professional career in 1999 at Volkswagen Coaching GmbH. He later held a range of management positions in the human resources department of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. In 2014, Krapoth joined the company that is now known as Volkswagen Group Services GmbH as Head of Human Resources and authorized signatory. He became chairman of the Management Board in 2016. In 2019, he was appointed Chief Human Resources Officer of Volkswagen Slovakia in Bratislava, Slovakia.
We've got the power!
Our mission has started. The newly founded PowerCo will carry out all battery activities of the Volkswagen Group – from processing raw materials to developing a unified Volkswagen battery to managing the European gigafactories. At our headquarters in Salzgitter we experience the transformation of mobility up close. Our goal is to contribute to a positive impact to society, the environment and economy. To reach our goals we need your energy!