Volkswagen accelerates plans for North American battery cell factories while pausing European expansion

vw gigafactory
Credit: VW

Volkswagen has previously announced plans to build six battery cell factories in Europe by 2030, providing them with a capacity of 240 Gigawatt hours (GWh). Those plans have now been paused as the automaker waits to see how the European Union (EU) will respond to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in the US.

In a statement on Wednesday a VW spokesperson said it is “still evaluation suitable locations for our next cell factories in Eastern Europe and North America.” However, North American plans have “accelerated faster than expected and overtaken decision making in Europe” as the automaker has estimated it can receive up to €10 billion in US incentives under the IRA.

“We stick to our plan to build cell factories for about 240 GWh in Europe by 2030, but for this we need the right framework conditions. That is why we wait and see what the so-called EU Green Deal will bring,” the spokesperson added. (via Financial Times)

The IRA provides automakers with substantial incentives for producing electric vehicles (EVs) and their battery components in the US. The IRA has altered Tesla’s plans for 4680 battery cell production, shifting their focus at Giga Berlin’s battery plant to instead increase production in the US.

VW already has one battery plant up and running in Sweden through a partnership with Northvolt. Another is scheduled to come online in 2025 in Salzgitter and in Spain in 2026. Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic are all expected to be candidates for VWs Eastern European battery cell factory set to open in 2027.

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