The Volkswagen Group’s first 100% owned battery system plant in China, Volkswagen Anhui Components Co. (VWAC), has started production of its first high-voltage battery system, which it states is a crucial component for the production of its modular electric drive matrix (MEB) electric vehicles.
As the latest milestone in the VW’s strategic development of Hefei, Anhui, as a high-tech intelligent connected vehicles (ICV) hub, it marks another major achievement for the Group’s ‘In China, for China’ strategy.
Covering an area of 45,000m2, VWAC is the first battery system plant wholly financed by Volkswagen Automatic Transmission (Tianjin) Co., with an initial annual capacity of 150,000 to 180,000 high-voltage battery systems.
The battery systems consist of multiple cell modules, cell management controllers, management systems and connector strips, with 96% of the components required for battery production supplied locally.
For a digitized manufacturing process, the production, assembly and testing of the battery systems will integrate cutting-edge technology and automation at each stage. In particular, the entire production process is covered by automatic line feeding technology. Through a combination of automated guided vehicles (AGV), high-precision intelligent cameras and industrial robots, VWAC can achieve just-in-sequence (JIS) logistics and accurate parts processing, to ensure production stability and quality products, the company states.
The quality lab also uses a water cutting machine, laser radar and 3D coordinate measuring machine (CMM) equipment, all of which should improve the efficiency of product analysis. VWAC also oversees the production of the VW’s cell-to-pack (CTP) battery packs, using unified cells developed in cooperation with Gotion High-Tech.
Olaf Korzinovski, executive VP of Volkswagen Group China, responsible for components, logistics and QA, said, “Volkswagen Group Component China is actively driving our transformation toward a new era of intelligent, connected vehicles, in China, for China.
“VWAC serves as the powerhouse of battery production and is a vital part of our future development. With the first high-voltage battery system rolling off the production line at VWAC, Volkswagen Group Components China has shown its dedication to locally developing and producing top-notch backbone components for our electric vehicles.”
Since its establishment, VWAC has been fully aligned to VW’s ‘goTOzero’ mission and the goal of creating ‘Zero Impact Factories’. To this end, VWAC has already adopted a geothermal heat pump system that covers 100% of the office and auxiliary building areas, which is estimated to save around 900MWh of energy per year. A range of measures are also being implemented to achieve 100% green electricity usage.