Tesla and Volkswagen are examples of auto companies aiming to make their battery cells and battery modules. Geely, Audi, Toyota, and General Motors are examples of OEMs that want to source battery cells and assemble the modules themselves. An in-depth analysis of the EV battery value chain is highlighted below.
Auto Companies Making Their Own Battery Cells and Battery Modules
- Tesla currently produces batteries with Panasonic Corp (Japanese Company), as well as from LG Chem (South Korean Company) and Amperex (Chinese Company).
- In a project dubbed Roadrunner, Tesla Inc is set to build a battery research and manufacturing facility in California. The plan will see the company make its own automotive batteries, considered electric vehicles’ (EV) most expensive components.
- Currently, Tesla operates a small-scale battery manufacturing plant in Fremont and has sought approval to build and expand its battery production.
- According to Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, installation of all necessary equipment will take approximately 3 months to complete. Manufacturing and production operations of the EV battery cells will run around the clock, daily.
- Volkswagen, a German automaker, aims at expanding its Chattanooga factory in Tennessee to facilitate the manufacture of EV cells and battery packs in the US.
- The company will use the Chattanooga factory to develop and test cells and battery packs for its electric vehicles assembled in the US. Volkswagen projects that the production will be fully operational by spring 2021.
- According to Wolfgang Maluche, vice president of engineering, the decision to make its own cells and battery packs arises from the company’s emission scandal. The scandal cost Volkswagen $35.51 billion.
- The auto manufacture is set to invest $800 million in the project. It [Volkswagen] hopes that “in sourcing electric vehicle cells and battery packs” will reinforce it among the ambitious car makers in the electric vehicle niche.
OEMs Making Battery Cells And Assembling Modules
- Geely is an auto manufacturer for various car models, including Volvo and Lotus. In partnership with Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), the company formed a joint venture to make battery cells and assemble modules.
- The joint venture dubbed CATL-Geely Power Battery will see the two companies invest 130 million Euros. This partnership will entail various tasks including “production and sale of battery cells, modules, and packages.”
- Geely hopes that this venture will lower procurement costs and increase the competitiveness of its electric vehicles.
- Audi, a German car maker, plans to develop an assembly plant for its electric vehicles in its Ingolstadt plant.
- Audi will continue its contract with LG Chem to expand this projected battery cell production.
- As Audi seeks to expand its range of electric vehicles, it will assemble the cells supplied by LG Chem into “ready-to-install battery packs.“
- Toyota and Panasonic are in a joint venture that “will specialize in the development and production of prismatic lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EVs).” Toyota will assemble Panasonic’s cells into battery packs for its battery-electric vehicle (BEV).
- In a joint venture with LG Chem, General Motors will invest $2.3 billion to build an electric vehicle battery joint in Ohio. A GM-LG plant will be the first unionized battery plant in the US.
- According to GM’s CEO, Mary Barra, the collaboration will help accelerate its projections for an all-electric future. This venture will see GM focus on battery cell production for its future EVs, including the Cadillac.