Volkswagen Group announces gigantic €3 billion battery factory in Spain
The Volkswagen Group and SEAT have announced that together with partners from the Future: Fast Forward project (total of 62 companies), they will invest 10 billion euros ($10.6 billion) to make Spain a hotspot European hub for electric mobility.
Part of the amount, which is described as the largest industrial investment in the history of Spain, is expected to come from the Strategic Project for Economic Recovery and Transformation (PERTE) program, but the request must first be successfully accepted by the government.
One of the main parts of the whole project will be a new 3 billion euro ($3.2 billion) lithium-ion battery gigafactory in Sagunt near Valencia, which will supply battery cells to local electric vehicle factories (in Martorell and Pamplona).
The gigafactory in Spain (confirmed in 2021) will be Volkswagen’s third after the one in Sweden (with Northvolt) and the one in Germany. Three more will be announced later.
Like the other two, the Sagunt plant will have a production capacity of 40 GWh/year. Construction is expected to start in the first quarter of 2023, while production is expected to start in 2026.
The Volkswagen Group intends to build a total of six 40 GWh battery giga-factories in Europe to secure up to 240 GWh of locally produced batteries by 2030.
According to Thomas Schmall, Member of the Board of Directors of Volkswagen AG, Chief Technology Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of SEAT SA, the PERTE funds will be essential for the investment:
The first milestone must be the positive outcome of the PERTE file and the finalization of the permits: “We are going to build the Gigafactory batteries with an investment of more than 3 billion euros, but the PERTE funds are essential if we want to materialize our ambition to Spain a European hub for electric vehicles”,
The battery factory is expected to be supplied with electricity from renewable sources. A major agreement with Iberdrola will lead to a new photovoltaic plant (250 hectares), located less than 10 km (6 miles) from the battery factory. According to the press release, in the first phase, it will supply 20% of the gigafactory’s total energy.
Giga-battery factory of the Volkswagen group in Spain:
- investment: 3 billion euros (3.2 billion dollars)
- location: Sagunt near Valencia
- production: up to 40 GWh of lithium-ion batteries per year
- site: Q1 2023
- start of production (target): 2026
- new jobs: 3,000
- an area of 200 hectares
- Iberdrola photovoltaic plant: renewable electricity production, located less than 10 km (6 miles) from the battery factory
Giga-factories of the Volkswagen Group in Europe:
- Northvolt Ett Plant (Northvolt) in Skellefteå in northern Sweden – More info here
(Volkswagen owns about 20% of Northvolt’s capital)
expected to start in 2023
product: battery cells for the high-end automotive segment
target volume: up to 40 GWh/year (out of the 60 GWh planned by Northvolt for all customers)
- Salzgitter, Lower Saxony, Germany
expected to start in 2025
product: unified battery cells for volkswagen group volume segment
20 GWh/year initially, 40 GWh/year later
“2 billion euros were spent on the construction and operation of the Salzgitter giga-factory until the start of production”
planned more than 2,500 jobs
pilot recycling activities were reported in January 2021
- Sagunt near Valencia, Spain
expected to start production in 2026
lithium ion batteries
3 billion euros of investment
3,000 jobs expected
- Eastern Europe (map) – location to be determined in H1 2022
- gigafactory #5 – no information
- gigafactory #6 – no information