Volkswagen Looking for Supplier Partners in EV Battery Race, Says Board Member

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Earlier this year, Deutsche Bank said that Volkswagen could surpass Tesla next year, and whether the news comes to fruition or not, Volkswagen has shared plans to find raw material suppliers for its batteries – a move that could result in improved production practices.

According to Reuters, Volkswagen is currently in talks with a number of battery suppliers about building long-term partnerships, in hopes to gain more control over its access to raw materials.

While Volkswagen company looks to work with just a few large suppliers, the company is reportedly already close to sealing a partnership with Salzgitter on an electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing facility.

Volkswagen Technology Board Member Thomas Schmall emphasized the company’s hopes to catch up and keep up with the competition, as rivals Tesla and BMW have already secured partnerships with battery suppliers around the world.

Schmall said, “We’re all in a race. It’s about making the most affordable cells and you need scale to do that,” said Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen’s board member in charge of technology.” Schmall continued, “Apart from cell manufacturing, which is a new area of business for us, we need to move into vertical integration more strongly, procuring and securing raw materials. This can happen via various forms of cooperation.”

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said earlier this year that Volkswagen plans to “get close and overtake” Tesla, immediately following news that the company was looking to build six battery plants across Europe, effectively rivaling Tesla’s in-progress Gigafactory Berlin.

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