Volkswagen Group assembles senior team to develop new battery technologies for electric vehicles (EVs)

Volkswagen Group has lined up a team of senior employees with the mission of quickly and comprehensively industrialising new battery technologies for electric vehicles (EVs). This expands on the Group’s cutting-edge laboratory for battery research and development in Salzgitter, Germany which was announced last year. Volkswagen is investing around €70 million (£60 million/$83 million) in the facilities.

The new team features a highly talented group of experts led by Frank Blome, who will work from their base in Salzgitter. The idea is to expand the rapidly growing battery business and turn Volkswagen into a global cell manufacturer. This will put them in a dominant position and probably lead to more collaborations with other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), like that recently announced with Ford, as a consequence. 

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A six-member Executive Board has been appointed to manage the new independent European company called Société Européenne. The operation will employ top international experts from the fields of technology, procurement, production and finance. 

The board of the new battery company (f.l.t.r.): Jörg Teichmann, Soonho Ahn, Frank Blome, Sebastian Wolf, Kai Alexander Müller, Sebastian Krapoth

The board will begin work on July 1 and oversee all activities along the battery value chain. This will be from the procurement and processing of raw materials to the development of the Volkswagen unit cell and the management of the company’s initial six gigafactories

This work will also include new business models involving second-life uses for vehicle batteries and closed-loop recycling of valuable raw materials. The company will be headquartered at the Salzgitter site, which serves as the Group’s battery hub in Europe.

Herbert Diess, Volkswagen AG CEO, said: “We have set up one of the most competent battery teams in the world and are therefore at the forefront of the competition. Volkswagen has the size and clout to secure the ramp-up of its e-mobility strategy with its own battery roadmap.”

Thomas Schmall, the Group Board Member for Technology and the Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group Components, said: “A successful mission needs a clear goal, a clear strategy for getting there and a team with a strong team spirit. 

“By this, we will be a driving force behind the transformation of the automotive industry and the future of Volkswagen.”

An overview of the management team at the new battery team can be seen below:

An overview of the management team at the new battery team can be seen below:

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer Frank Blome

Frank Blome will oversee the entire operation as Chief Executive Officer. Blome joined Volkswagen AG in 2018 and has been Head of the Battery Division in the Group’s Technology division since 2020.

Chief Operations Officer

Chief Operations Officer Sebastian Wolf

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 has been Head of Operations Battery Cell in the Battery division since 2021.

Chief Financial Officer

Chief Financial Officer Kai Alexander Müller

Kai Alexander Müller will be responsible for Controlling & Accounting, Treasury, and Investor Relations, among other things. At the beginning of 2022, Müller joined the Volkswagen Group as CFO of the Battery Division.

Chief Technology Officer

Chief Technology Officer Soonho Ahn

Soonho Ahn will be responsible for technology and product development as well as testing and analytics, among other things. Ahn became the CTO of the Battery division at the beginning of 2022.

Chief Purchasing Officer

Chief Purchasing Officer Jörg Teichmann

Jörg Teichmann will be responsible for raw material purchasing, supplier management and value engineering, among other things. In 2016, Teichmann joined Volkswagen AG as Head of Value Engineering and has been the Chief Procurement Officer for Group Components since 2021.

Chief Human Resources Officer

Chief Human Resources Officer Sebastian Krapoth

Sebastian Krapoth will be responsible for human resources, culture & change management and organisational issues, among other things. Krapoth began his professional career in 1999 at Volkswagen Coaching GmbH. He has been with the company ever since and became chairman of the Management Board in 2016. In 2019, he was appointed Chief Human Resources Officer of Volkswagen Slovakia in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Volkswagen to hire many battery experts

A recruiting campaign has been launched for “Battery Valley” and the battery team in Salzgitter is scheduled to grow from 750 to 1,200 employees in a short time. More than 200 of the approximately 500 vacancies are to be filled by external candidates. 

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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