Volkswagen is to invest in a new European battery cell production site in Valencia, Spain, which would be the company’s first battery manufacturing facility outside Germany.
“In Valencia, we are planning to build up nothing less than next-generation cell production: a standardized factory, producing Volkswagen’s cutting-edge unified cell and supplied with renewable energy, enabling a sustainable battery production. It will create a strong pulling effect in the whole battery value chain in Spain and beyond,” said Thomas Schmall, member of the Volkswagen Board of Management responsible for technology and chairman of the SEAT board of directors.
According to VW, the selection process was tough, and Valencia emerged as the strongest location based on assessment of more than 100 criteria, which included a qualified workforce, public support, good logistic connections and green energy. Volkswagen aims for a production capacity of 40GWh annually and plans to employ more than 3,000 people in Valencia. The timeline is tight: to be ready to start production in 2026, construction of the plant should begin by the end of the year. The first milestone must be the positive outcome of the PERTE submission and finalized permits.
In total, Volkswagen plans to build six gigafactories in Europe with an annual capacity of 240GWh. The group’s demand for premium cells will be met by Northvolt in Skellefteå, Sweden. To speed up the rollout of all further cell factories coming up for Europe, Volkswagen has founded a European corporation for cell development and manufacturing and keeps the option open to integrate new partners or investors. Its blueprint for all future manufacturing sites will be its Salzgitter plant in Germany, which is due to start cell production in 2025.