FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen is rolling out what it bills as the breakthrough electric car for the masses, the leading edge of a wave of new battery-powered vehicles about to hit the European auto market.
A Chinese battery maker carved out of the country’s biggest sport utility vehicle manufacturer, Great Wall Motor Co Ltd, on Tuesday said it is planning its first overseas manufacturing base in Europe. SVOLT Energy Technology Co Ltd general manager Yang Hongxin said, “We plan to have five production bases worldwide, including in the United States, but it will take time. The global plan is to reach a capacity of 100 GWh by 2025.”
The move comes as Asian battery makers deepen cooperation with automakers in Europe, where limited means of making the cells that power electric vehicles has raised concern of over-reliance on Asian manufacturers.
The price of lithium has tripled in the last three years. Lithium is the key element in producing the kind of high-efficiency batteries needed for electromobility. Can a lithium mine in Austria help reduce Europe’s dependence on imports?
Global automakers are planning an unprecedented level of spending to develop and procure batteries and electric vehicles over the next five to 10 years. Reuters have analysed public data released by those companies and their plans to spend at least $300 billion on EVs are driven largely by environmental concerns and government policy, and supported by rapid technological advances that have improved battery cost, range and charging time.