BERLIN— Volkswagen's battery subsidiary Powerco and Belgium's Umicore are to extend their cooperation on cathode material to Canada, which the carmaker is considering as the location of its first North American cell factory, VW said on Thursday.
“Site search in Canada for our first battery factory in North America starts now!” Volkswagen said on its official LinkedIn Page. “Our CEO Oliver Blume and the Canadian Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry François-Philippe Champagne signed an additional agreement to the existing Memorandum of Understanding to identify suitable locations for a new PowerCo SE cell factory.”
The German auto giant signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with materials firm Umicore for a long-term strategic partnership geared towards future cell production in the region, a statement said.
In September, Volkswagen and Umicore announced a US$2.9 billion battery parts joint venture to supply PowerCo's European battery cell factories with key materials from 2025 onwards.
Meanwhile, Umicore on July 13 committed to spending about C$1.5 billion to build an integrated manufacturing plant for cathode and precursor battery materials outside Kingston, Ont.
Volkswagen CEO Oliver Blume and Canadian industry minister Francois-Philippe Champagne also signed an addendum to their existing MoU from August, agreeing to identify suitable sites for the planned cell plant.
"Battery technology is key for our strategy," said Blume, adding that Volkswagen was committed to investing in North America.
Blue added more comment in the LinkedIn post.
“The EV market in North America is at a turning point and we’re committed to investing across the entire region to leverage this historic chance for Volkswagen and our customers,” he said.
Automotive News Canada contributed to this report.