Volkswagen’s battery company, PowerCo, entered into a joint venture with Umicore to create Ionway, a battery material production company.
Ionway will focus on producing cathode active materials (CAM) and pCAM in Europe. CAM is a key component in lithium-ion battery cells in electric vehicles (EVs).
PowerCo and Umicore’s new company will be based in Brussels. For now, Ionway’s primary goal is to reach an annual production capacity of 160 GWh per annum by the end of the decade, enough to produce 2.2 million battery electric vehicles.
“Through IONWAY, PowerCo reaches another milestone of our strategy to vertically integrate the battery supply chain. Together with our trusted partner, Umicore, we source our own key cell production materials at reasonable prices. Secure access allows PowerCo to supply cost-competitive battery cells to Volkswagen Group for years to come ‒ enabling its brands to offer attractive, affordable EVs to its customer(s),” said PowerCo CEO Frank Blome.
Umicore is a leading circular materials technology company with materials science, chemistry, and metallurgy expertise. PowerCo SE is Volkswagen’s new battery business, which focuses on developing cell technology and vertical integration of the value chain.
Ionway will also provide Umicore access to CAM. It will also supply PowerCo’s Europe-based cell factories with CAM for Volkswagen’s electric vehicle production.
PowerCo has chosen three gigafactory locations. Two gigafactory are in Europe, and one is in North America. PowerCo plans to build cell factories in Salzgitter, Germany, and Valencia, Spain. It also decided to build a battery plant in St. Thomas, Canada. PowerCo expects the cell factories to have a total capacity of 240 GWh/year by 2030.