Utilities Iberdrola and Enel and energy giant BP have teamed up with Volkswagen to decarbonise the transport sector through e-mobility.
The alliance was announced during Volkswagen’s first Power Day event, at which the car manufacturer presented its technology roadmap for batteries and charging up to 2030.
The goal of the roadmap is to secure the supply of battery cells beyond 2025, as well as significantly reduce the complexity and cost of the battery in order to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles by making electric cars viable for as many people as possible.
To this end, six gigafactories with a total production capacity of 240GWh are to be established in Europe by the end of the decade.
Volkswagen is also heavily focussing on the large-scale expansion of the public fast-charging network globally.
“E-mobility has become core business for us. We are now systematically integrating additional stages in the value chain. We secure a long-term pole position in the race for the best battery and best customer experience in the age of zero-emission mobility”, says Herbert Diess, chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Group.
Along with its partners, the company intends to operate about 18,000 public fast-charging points in Europe by 2025. This represents a five-fold expansion of the fast-charging network compared to today and corresponds to about one third of the total demand predicted on the continent for 2025.
This will be done through a series of strategic partnerships in addition to the joint venture IONITY. Volkswagen wants to establish about 8,000 fast-charging points throughout Europe together with bp. The fast-chargers with a charging capacity of 150kW will be installed at a total of 4,000 BP and ARAL service stations, with the majority of these in Germany and Great Britain.
Iberdrola supplies renewable energy to the EV chain in Spain
Iberdrola will be the official energy partner supplying renewable energy to the EV chain, allowing Volkswagen to cover main traffic routes in Spain.
“The agreement shows the potential of bringing industry leaders together to accelerate the decarbonisation of the economy and its enormous positive impact on the environment and biodiversity, as well as on economic recovery, strengthening the value chain and creating millions of sustainable jobs across Europe,” said Iberdrola President Ignacio Galàƒ¡n. “We have the technology, capabilities, knowledge and determination to jointly create a more sustainable model for everyone and shape an ecosystem that enables our country to continue to lead in this area at European level. This strategic alliance represents a giant step forward on this path” concluded Galàƒ¡n.
Enel to assist with fast-charging network
In Italy, Volkswagen wants to collaborate with Enel to establish the fast-charging network both along motorways and in urban areas.
“Coorporation between industries – in particular between the automotive industry and the electricity industry – is fundamental in order to drive growth in this new way of mobility based on electricity,” says Francesco Starace, CEO and General Manager of Enel Group.
“This corporation needs to go deep into all technical aspects of the charging infrastructure and systems of cars. Through this, we would be able to fully decarbonise a very important segment of the transportation industry so we are very focused on cooperating with the automotive manufacturers around the world.”
The alliance, which can be extended to other countries, also calls for the supply of energy with guarantees of renewable origin and other energy solutions to the Volkswagen Group itself, SEAT S.A. and its end customers.
Volkswagen will invest about €400 million ($477,3 million) in the European programme as a whole by 2025, with further investments being borne by external partners.
Volkswagen is expanding the public fast-charging network in the US and China too. Electrify America is planning around 3,500 fast-charging points in North America by the end of the year. In China, a total of 17,000 fast-charging points are being targeted by Volkswagen by 2025 through the CAMS joint venture.
bp’s charging networks to be integrated into VW Group vehicles
The agreement would also make bp the Volkswagen Group’s EV charging partner, with the integration of bp’s charging network into VW Group vehicles to make finding and paying for charging fast and simple. The network would also be available for other EV customers as part of the bp pulse network (Aral pulse in Germany), improving access to ultra-fast charging for EV drivers more widely.
Emma Delaney, bp’s executive vice president, customers and products, said: “Enabling the rapid expansion of electric vehicles is core to bp’s plans to grow our convenience and mobility business, and supports our net zero ambition… Together we can provide drivers in the UK and Europe with the fast, reliable and convenient charging solutions they need to feel more confident about making the switch. By deploying ultra-fast charging, rapidly and at large scale, we can establish a leading position and help accelerate the take-up of EVs.”