Volkswagen’s battery and energy subsidiary, PowerCo, has given the go-ahead for the construction of its second battery cell plant for electric cars in the Spanish region of Valencia.
The “Valencia Gigafactory” is expected to start producing the so-called unit cells in 2026 and will directly employ more than 3,000 people in the future. Up to 30,000 additional indirect jobs could be created with suppliers and partners in Spain.
Since its launch in July 2022, PowerCo has identified three locations for cell factories – Salzgitter, Valencia and St Thomas in Ontario/Canada – two of which are already under construction.
With PowerCo, we are on the fast track. Our goal remains: we want to make PowerCo a global player in the battery industry and pave the way for better mobility with sustainably produced battery cells. The Valencia Gigafactory is an important step in achieving this.
Thomas Schmall, board member of the technology group and chairman of the supervisory board of PowerCo.
The annual production capacity in Spain is initially 40 GWh, but it can be extended to 60 GWh “in perspective”. The cell factory is being built in Sagunto, near Valencia, on an area of approximately 130 hectares. Together with the planned supplier park, which will be built alongside the PowerCo plant, the area totals 200 hectares.
According to Volkswagen, the availability of low-cost green electricity, the regional science and innovation hub, as well as good transport links and proximity to Spanish production centers played an important role in the decision to locate the factory in Valencia.
In the future, the Gigafactory in Valencia will supply unit cells to vehicle factories in Martorell and Pamplona, among others.
Focus on sustainability
PowerCo intends to produce sustainable batteries in Valencia. “For example, the power supply for the cell factory relies entirely on green electricity from the sun and the wind, among other things via a 250-hectare solar park in the immediate vicinity of the factory. In perspective, the raw material cycle will be closed directly at the cell factory site“, it is said.
The Valencia Gigafactory is a central part of the 10 billion euro investment program called “Future: Fast Forward”, which the Volkswagen group announced last year with PowerCo, the Spanish subsidiary Seat and 49 other partners. As part of the plan, Europe’s largest automaker will also electrify its factories in Martorell and Pamplona as part of the aid program known as PERTE for electric and connected vehicles.
Engineering chief Schmall announced that Volkswagen would sell batteries to other buyers. “In perspective, we also want to enter the third-party market.“. He said he hopes there will be some global standards for batteries in the future. “With our large volumes and our activities in third-party markets, we want to establish one of these standards.“.
More information: volkswagen