PowerCo, the battery company subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, and Belgian circular technology group Umicore have obtained full regulatory approvals for their joint venture announced in September 2022.
VW said the partners can now proceed to prepare for large-scale industrial production of cathode active materials (CAM) and precursor materials (PCAM) in Europe.
Cathode active materials are the key technological lever for battery performance, as well as the single biggest contributor to overall battery cost. They are thus strategically important input materials central to battery value creation, and crucial for a successful powertrain transition towards e-mobility.
From 2025 onwards, the joint venture set up by PowerCo and Umicore will supply PowerCo’s European battery cell factories with key materials for production. Headquartered in Brussels, the joint venture will cover a large part of PowerCo’s EU demand and provide Umicore with secured access to an important part of the European demand for EV cathode materials.
VW maintains the joint venture is on track to produce, by the end of the decade, CAM and PCAM for a targeted 160 GWh cell capacity per year, which is equivalent to an annual production capacity capable of powering about 2.2 million full electric vehicles. The partners will therefore be important contributors to the green mobility transition and the further development of a local, sustainable, and fully integrated European battery supply chain.
The production site search is ongoing, VW said.