SMM News: according to foreign media reports, the German government is promoting the establishment of a battery production base in Europe, but BMW has not shown much enthusiasm for this, which has slowed down the development of the battery industry on a par with its Asian competitors.
"I don't think it makes sense for every carmaker to produce its own batteries," Nicholas Peter (Nicolas Peter), BMW's chief financial officer, told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Munich on Tuesday. " He said the company would be happy to join a consortium or work with existing battery manufacturers, but did not see the need to go beyond that.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a three-hour meeting with the chief executives of BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler in Berlin on Monday to redouble her efforts to promote the popularity of electric vehicles. No concrete results were achieved at the end of the discussion, increasing the sense of slow movement towards cleaner vehicles.
As BMW hesitated, Volkswagen announced in May that it would work with Northvolt to invest nearly 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in research and development of battery technology and the formation of a European battery alliance. Northvolt has a battery production plant under construction in Sweden. The battery plant is expected to start production at a low capacity of 125 megawatts a year, followed by a gradual increase in capacity. The cell plant is expected to start production by 2020 with a target capacity of 8 gigawatt hours per year. Once the entire plant is completed by 2023, the annual production target will be raised to 32 gigawatt hours.
BMW, like Volkswagen, owns a stake in Northvolt and plans to increase its stake in the near future, while still below Volkswagen.
Germany and France plan to set up a battery maker in Europe, but the plan is struggling because of concerns that existing Asian producers are in a better position to reduce the cost of key battery technologies.
Andreas Schuer, Germany's transport minister, has criticised the country's largest car industry for not producing enough electric vehicles.
"I have a small problem, which is that these interesting products will not be available for the next few years, so where do consumers see different products and experience electric cars for themselves now?" Schuer said. "I have a small problem, and that is, these interesting products will not be available for the next few years, so where do consumers see different products and experience electric cars?"
The Merkel government is under pressure from young voters who believe it has not done enough to achieve its climate goals. Germany is seeking to redouble its efforts to modernize the auto industry and to establish a charging network for 7 million to 10 million electric vehicles by 2030. Germany currently has about 17000 publicly filled piles.