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Volkswagen teams up with Umicore on battery parts

Volkswagen announced on Monday a $2.9 billion battery components joint venture with Belgian materials firm Umicore.

The move is the latest for the automaker to bring battery supplies closer to home as it shifts toward electric vehicles.

While raw materials – among them lithium, cobalt, nickel and manganese – will still be largely sourced from different parts of the world, cathode production for batteries will happen in Europe under the joint venture, most likely at Umicore’s plant in Poland.

The venture – between Umicore and Volkswagen’s battery unit PowerCo – also plans to work on recycling metals from battery materials, the companies said.

There is a “strong industrial logic” to placing production at Umicore’s recently inaugurated battery materials plant in Nysa, Poland, Umicore CEO Mathias Miedreich said.

He added that a decision would be taken soon.

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