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The Volkswagen Group has opened the ‘Center of Excellence for Battery Cells’ at its Salzgitter plant. Over the next few years, 300 experts will work here in a pilot plant to develop and build lithium-ion batteries that will later be used in future generations of electric cars. At the same time, Volkswagen and Californian company QuantumScape are researching the technology of solid-state cells. The aim is to break away from the current dependence on Asian battery manufacturers. At the earliest in 2020, Volkswagen plans to construct its own factory for lithium-ion batteries in Salzgitter, in cooperation with Swedish company Northvolt . Production is scheduled to commence around the end of 2023/beginning of 2024.

At present, batteries for electric cars primarily come from the two South Korean groups Samsung and LG, as well as from CATL in China. CATL wants to strengthen its presence in Europe and is currently building a huge battery factory in Thuringia . Unlike Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW purchase their battery cells from Asian companies and only install them in their own batteries at their plants in Kamenz and Dingolfing.