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European battery plans could include JVs, IPOs says Volkswagen

Volkswagen is looking for outside money in its preparation to build up to six battery cell factories in Europe by 2030, CEO Herbert Diess said on Thursday, adding he was open to listing some of those activities on the stock exchange.

Diess said the automaker could not fund these plants alone. “We can’t. We are looking for partnerships,” he informed experts after presenting first-quarter results.

Volkswagen made announcements in March about the battery factory plans, which are expected to have a capacity of 240 gigawatt-hours.

As part of the deal, the automaker has raised its 20% stake in Northvolt and also taken over the Swedish firm’s stake in a planned battery cell venture in the German city of Salzgitter, which will establish the second factory from 2025.

This will come after a factory in Spain, France, or Portugal in 2026 and a site in Poland, Slovakia, or the Czech Republic by 2027. Two more plants will be established by 2030.

“And I hope that within the next couple of months, we are able to declare the next sites and the next partnerships, even I wouldn’t exclude IPOing some of the activities,” Diess said.

He said options included entering joint ventures with present battery cell suppliers and that there was strong interest from other industries and regional governments to co-invest in batteries.

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