The battery division’s future client is anticipated to be Ford. Ford intends to buy cells for its line of vehicles currently developing in Europe, utilizing the advanced electric MEB platform provided by Volkswagen, marking a significant milestone in the collaborative efforts between the two automotive giants.
In a recent development, Volkswagen’s Chief Financial Officer, Arno Antlitz, has hinted at the high likelihood of securing a major client as a strategic investor for its fledgling battery unit, PowerCo. According to Antlitz, the door remains open to welcoming several investors in the near future, potentially paving the way for a robust and diverse partnership landscape.
In the initial stages of its operational trajectory, the battery unit is gearing up to serve Ford, its first planned client. PowerCo is slated to supply battery cells for vehicles that the American automaker is developing in Europe, utilizing Volkswagen’s state-of-the-art electric MEB platform. This collaboration marks a significant stride in fostering relationships between these prominent industry players.
Moreover, the horizon seems to be broadening further for PowerCo, as it is reportedly in advanced discussions with Indian conglomerate Mahindra. The ongoing negotiations encompass the potential supply of battery cells and the provision of the MEB electric platform, positioning Mahindra as another potential candidate for strategic investment.
During a conversation at the sidelines of Porsche’s listing event in September 2022, Antlitz speculated that PowerCo could potentially follow suit as the next unit to experience a spin-off, initially through the acquisition of strategic investors and possibly culminating in a stock market listing. The strategic move is envisaged to facilitate the expansion and enhancement of PowerCo’s capabilities.
Looking ahead, PowerCo has chalked out plans to commence cell production in 2025, with the inauguration of manufacturing facilities in Salzgitter, Valencia, and Ontario. These developments are integral to Volkswagen’s ambitious plan to self-sustain by meeting half of its battery demand through its in-house unit, while also catering to the needs of third-party customers with the remaining production capacity.
At a gathering of the International Club of Frankfurt Business Journalists (ICFB), Antlitz emphasized the sustained high interest from potential investors. He further noted that the timeline to find an investor could be within the following year. In addition, he indicated that the company might explore the option of placing further holdings on the market to facilitate potential acquisitions in the forthcoming period.
This prospective expansion and collaboration mark a pivotal phase in PowerCo’s journey, potentially revolutionizing the battery industry and steering Volkswagen towards a sustainable and innovative future.