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VW Wants to Catch Tesla so Bad, It’s Hiring Battery Specialists From Apple and BMW

You’d think that it would be the likes of Rivian or various Chinese EV startups that have Tesla in their crosshairs, but no, judging by everything we’ve read and even heard from VW CEO Herbert Diess, it is the German carmaker that’s, for lack of a better term, desperate to not fall further behind the world’s most valuable car brand.
VW is hiring ex-Apple and BMW battery specialists 7 photos
VW is hiring ex-Apple and BMW battery specialistsVW is hiring ex-Apple and BMW battery specialistsVW is hiring ex-Apple and BMW battery specialistsVW is hiring ex-Apple and BMW battery specialistsVW is hiring ex-Apple and BMW battery specialistsVW is hiring ex-Apple and BMW battery specialists
Its latest strategic move toward that end has been to hire two battery specialists from Apple and BMW, respectively.

The first is Soonho Ahn, who used to be Apple’s former head of global battery developments, and now serves as the VW Group’s battery division chief technical officer (CTO). The other signing was Joerg Hoffmann, BMW’s former head of battery cell, fuel cell and electric drive, now acting as head of program management for solid-state batteries at VW, reports Autonews Europe.

Ahn joined Apple back in 2018 after having worked for Samsung SDI, where he held the position of senior vice president for next-generation batteries and materials innovation. Prior to that, he oversaw lithium-ion battery development.

Hoffman meanwhile worked at BMW for 21 years, as per his LinkedIn profile, managing electric component production.

VW is aiming to bring solid-state batteries to market by 2025, with only a few other companies setting similar targets (Toyota, CATL and Panasonic).

“The endgame, from our point of view, is solid state,” said Frank Blome, head of battery and systems at VW Group components. “The simpler design leads to higher performance and lower costs,” he added.

The German carmaker is currently working on solid-state cells along with QuantumScape, a Stanford University spinoff in which VW has already invested $300 million and now holds a one-third stake.

As far as catching up to Tesla, it will probably take several decades until we can properly ascertain whether or not they’ve succeeded.

 
 
 
 
 

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