Volkswagen Group Components plant in Braunschweig is significantly expanding its production of battery systems for the latest electric vehicle generation. Following the first expansion stage with a maximum capacity of 250,000 battery systems, the second expansion stage has started up with the same capacity.
Once the site is fully ramped up it will be able to fit up to 500,000 batteries a year for models based on the modular electric drive matrix (MEB). This is the system currently used for the fully-electric Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4 models.
This will also be used in the ŠKODA ENYAQ iV which will soon be quietly and powerfully cruising the streets of Europe with a battery heart from Braunschweig.
In addition, up to 100,000 battery systems for the beloved models e-up!, SEAT Mii electric, ŠKODA Citigoe iV and as well as for hybrid vehicles such as the Volkswagen Golf GTE7.
Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen Group Components CEO, said: “The strong demand for attractive and affordable electric models based on the modular electric drive matrix has the lines of the first expansion stage working at full capacity, so we have fired up the second stage. As such, the component is underpinning the Group’s unprecedented electric campaign.”
Series production of MEB batteries takes place using the state-of-the-art, largely fully automated production technology in a new manufacturing hall. This is spread across more than 40,000 square metres, and more than 300 million euros have been invested in the new building.
Production of the battery housing employs the latest welding, adhesive and sealing techniques. The housing units are then assembled with the cell modules and a control unit to form the actual battery systems. Several in-line, air-tightness and end-of-line testbeds guarantee uniformly high quality.
The development of the battery system, including its hardware and software, also took place at the Braunschweig site. The knowledge gained here sets new standards for the whole of the Volkswagen Group, and is being used within the international network.
The battery system product employs more than 800 employees, who were largely retrained for the new tasks within the site. They prepared for working with high voltages through tailored training courses and qualifications.
This is a great example where the production of zero-emission vehicles and their components is helping to create jobs. Plus, many employees are being retrained as electric cars take over from dirty internal combustion engine vehicles.
It’s also good to see Volkswagen Group Components are also recycling old batteries. They recently opened their first plant for recycling electric car batteries in Salzgitter, Germany. As this pilot operation commences, the Volkswagen Group takes another committed step towards sustainable end-to-end responsibility for the entire value chain of the electric vehicle battery.