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VW, Bosch to set up JV to equip gigafactories

BERLIN — Volkswagen and Robert Bosch plan to set up a joint venture by the end of this year to equip battery cell factories and help make Europe self-sufficient in battery production.

The unit will explore the possibilities of industrial-scale solutions for battery manufacturing in Europe, VW and Bosch said in a statement on Tuesday.

The new venture will deliver battery production systems as well as assisting battery cell manufacturers in scaling up and maintaining their production sites, VW said.

“Europe has a one-time chance to become the global powerhouse for batteries in coming years,” VW’s technology chief, Thomas Schmall, said in the statement.

“We are working to build a complete, localized, European supply chain for ‘made in Europe’ e-mobility,” Schmall said.

VW plans to have six battery cell production plants in Europe by 2030, a key step in its bid to outdo Tesla and become the world’s top seller of electric vehicles.

The first two plants, one in Sweden and one in Germany, are set to begin production in 2023 and 2025. Locations and start dates for the remaining four have not yet be disclosed, though possible locations include Spain and eastern Europe.

The Bosch-VW joint venture would serve battery cell plants across Europe, the statement said, which are multiplying in number amid pressure from the European Union to become less dependent on Asia for battery supply.

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