Volkswagen Group Eyes Sustainable Canadian Batteries for North American Market

Volkswagen Group and Canada aim to advance sustainable battery supply chain in North America 26 photos
Photo: Volkswagen Group
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The Volkswagen Group has just announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Canadian government. The German conglomerate has penned an agreement regarding the manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles through its PowerCo SE division, which has this role.
The idea of the deal, which was signed by Herbert Diess, Volkswagen CEO (until September 1, 2022), and Francois-Philippe Champagne, the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry in Canada, all in the presence of Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, is to look for opportunities in the country for the VW Group's strategy in North America.

Once things get moving, PowerCo, the new battery company of the VW Group, will move forward in the Great White North with battery value creation, raw materials supply chains, and cathode material production.

In other words, the VW Group intends to build batteries for EVs in Canada, and it is currently seeking solutions in this country through PowerCo, thanks to the deal that is prefaced by this Memorandum of Understanding.

VW wants to have a production capacity of 240 gigawatt-hours per year in Europe alone, and the facility in the U.S.' neighbor to the North should help the conglomerate establish a Gigafactory in North America. It is important to note that potential production sites are currently being examined in the region, so the location of the factory is not yet set in stone.

The German conglomerate wants to launch more than 25 BEV (battery-electric vehicles) by the end of the decade in North America, and all those vehicles will require batteries. An investment in production on the same continent as the one where those vehicles will be sold is a wise move for the German group.

Volkswagen Group officials have noted that they selected Canada for this partnership due to the recognized ESG criteria between the Canadian mining sector and PowerCo. The former is renowned for its responsibility and transparency, for which it has become a world leader in the field from this perspective. PowerCo is happy to have a partner that respects its desire to ensure sustainable battery manufacturing, as well as reliable raw material supply.

The latter two elements are essential in ensuring that electric vehicles will not be a problem in the future because of the materials that are used to make them or their components and the provenance of some raw materials used in batteries of some EVs in the past was an issue. In some cases, it still is an issue, but the Volkswagen Group wants to have sustainably-made batteries with a transparent supply chain.
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Editor's note: For illustration purposes, the photo gallery shows images of Volkswagen electric vehicles.

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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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