Back on September 23, Volkswagen Group (China), in a statement, said that the new battery factory located in Hefei has officially started the construction and will supply batteries for Volkswagen Anhui’s all-electric models. This plant is the first battery system factory that Volkswagen Group in China wholly owns. The initial annual production capacity of the plant can reach between 150,000 to 180,000 sets of high-voltage battery systems. As said, all of these will be used for pure electric vehicles produced by Volkswagen’s MEB (Modular Electric Drive Toolkit) plant in Anhui. The factory covers more than 45,000 square meters and is adjacent to Volkswagen’s Anhui MEB factory. Volkswagen Group (China) plans to invest more than 140 million euros in constructing new plants and supporting facilities until 2025. However, the brand aims to put the plant into operation by the second half of 2023.
Volkswagen Group’s new plant!
Dr. Stephan Wöllenstein, CEO of Volkswagen Group China, said that “Volkswagen Group’s platform-sharing strategy is our competitive advantage, which will help us enter the era of electric mobility. With the substantial growth of the pure electric vehicle market in the next few years, we need to focus on battery systems and other key issues. Als in the field of parts and components, they will strengthen using its advantages in the electric vehicle value chain and maximize the synergy and innovation of the entire group. Volkswagen Anhui and VW Anhui Components Company, alongside our two strong Joint Ventures, are critical to the group’s electrification strategy. They will advance the group (China) to achieve the goal that new energy vehicles account for more than 40% of the brand models by 2030.”
Thomas Schmall, a member of the board of directors of Volkswagen Group and CEO of Volkswagen Group Parts Company, said that the development and production of battery systems is a critical step in achieving end-to-end responsibility for the battery. Anhui is an essential pillar in their global battery strategy. The global strategy leads from vertical integration in the raw material market via building battery plants and cell factories in collaboration with partners. And amongst them, the Chinese battery expert Gotion – to second life solutions and recycling.
More about the group’s strategy
He also said that under the guidance of the grgroup’strategy, they would work with their partners to promote the vertical integration of raw materials and promote the implementation of battery secondary utilization solutions and recycling. Currently, the group is building three battery manufacturing plants to meet the growing demand for battery systems for future MEB models in Asia, Europe, and the United States. He said that their Braunschweig plant in Germany would be able to produce 500,000 battery systems every year. Based on its expertise in planning, development, and production ability to enhance the grgroup’sverall strength in the battery field.
Future plans of the plant!
Mr. Frank Ingel, who is the Executive Vice President Components, Logistics, Quality at Volkswagen Group China, said that in the future, with the commissioning of the battery system plant in Hefei, the share of value-added by Volkswagen components in Volkswagen AnAnhui’suture electric vehicles will be about 40 percent. The new plant aims to become the strategic pillar of the grgroup’slectrification strategy, providing battery systems for all of the grgroup’sure electric models. The plant will also lay the foundation for the grgroup’sroduction of next-generation batteries in the Chinese market.”
“he new battery system plant, i.e., the VW Anhui Components Company, will be adjacent to Volkswagen AnAnhui’sV-production site. It will improve logistics efficiency, reduce costs, and speed up the launch of electric vehicle products. The new plant covers more than 45,000 square meters, which is equivalent to the size of 8.4 football fields. Before the factory goes into production, there will be about 200 employees. The new plant will also synergize with the GrGroup’sholly-owned battery plant and workshops in Braunschweig (Germany) and a component plant in Tianjin (China). It will enhance the ties and synergies with the MEB battery plants of Volkswagen GrGroup’shinese Joint Ventures.
Training of employees!
The new employees of the plant will receive professional training from the Component Education Academy at the GrGroup’sianjin plant. Front-line employees also receive state-of-the-art virtual reality technology training to reduce parts loss and accident risks, shorten the training period, and reduce the demand for physical venues. The Volkswagen Group has always been committed to the training and developing talents of younger generations and will provide dual vocational education opportunities, focusing on technical training for e-mobility products and components. Earlier this year, the GrGroup’sooperation with local partners in Anhui was to cultivate high-quality local talents that will contribute to the GrGroup’susiness and Hefei as a mobility hub. They focused on electric vehicles and related technical training of their parts and jointly trained high-quality talents to help develop AnAnhui’slectric mobility industry.
More on the group’s plant!
The grgroup’sactory in Braunschweig, Germany, is considered a lead plant in the planning, development, and production of battery systems. Experts from Germany will provide support for the international facilities currently being set up, including in Anhui. Since the operations at the Braunschweig plant were started in 2019, they have accumulated rich experience and will be extended to the entire Volkswagen Group in this way. In addition to the experts working on the site, the team working in Germany as bridgeheads in the collaboration will also play an important role. While building a battery system plant in Anhui, the group promotes battery assembly capacity in Mladá Boleslav (Czech Republic) and Chattanooga in the United States. These plants are being set up to achieve the goal of producing more than 1 million battery systems per year in the next few years.
The battery system for MEB platform vehicles consists of multiple battery cell modules, a cell management controller, battery management systems, and a connector strip. These components are connected to each other by high-voltage connectors and are protected by an aluminum battery casing. The battery production process is divided into two steps, i.e., one for frame production and another for system assembly. That said, each stage has two production lines. Thanks to the digital manufacturing process, which is actively invested by the Volkswagen Group, the related production, assembly, and testing of the battery system will adopt the most cutting-edge technology and achieve a high degree of automation at each stage. In addition, as part of the production preparations at the new Hefei plant, the group’s parts plant in Tianjin has already begun production of the prototype battery systems.