Seat and Volkswagen are to invest 7 billion euros to electrify Spain as part of their commitment to the country and developing electric vehicles.
As part of the investment, which represents the single largest industrial investment in Spanish history, Volkswagen will look to create a European Electric Vehicle Hub for battery cell production and a full, sustainable E-ecosystem.
The Group declared its plan to apply to the Electric Vehicle PERTE program after the Spanish government announced to open the call for applications on April 1st, 2022. The ‘Future Fast Forward’ program would include a total investment of more than 7 billion euros together with external suppliers along the entire value chain of e-mobility.
The Future: Fast Forward programme would include the installation of a battery cell factory in Sagunto, Valencia. All plans and investments are still subject to final approval of the PERTE submission.
“This project is highly important – for Volkswagen, for Spain, and for the whole of Europe. It’s our ambition to electrify Spain and we are willing to invest more than seven billion euro together with external suppliers for the electrification of our Martorell and Pamplona plants and the localisation of the battery value chain in Valencia”, said Thomas Schmall, member of the Volkswagen AG Board of Management responsible for Technology and chairman of the SEAT S.A. Board of Directors.
“‘Future Fast Forward’ has the potential to transform the Spanish automotive industry and democratise electric mobility across Europe. The more than 7 billion euros Volkswagen Group and SEAT S.A. would mobilise for Future: Fast Forward would represent the largest industrial investment in Spanish history”, said Wayne Griffith, president of SEAT.
Gigafactory Valencia would be Volkswagen’s second location after Salzgitter and the first one outside of Germany. “In Valencia, we are planning to build up nothing less than next-generation cell production: A standardised factory, producing Volkswagen’s cutting-edge unified cell and supplied with renewable energy, enabling a sustainable battery production. It will create a strong pulling effect in the whole battery value chain in Spain and beyond”, said Schmall.
Valencia was chosen based on more than 100 criteria such as qualified workforce, public support, good logistic connections and green energy. Volkswagen aims for a production capacity of 40 GWh annually and plans to employ more than 3,000 people in Valencia.
Thomas Schmall added: “Transforming an entire industry is a huge challenge. To be competitive in the new electric world, we now have to raise productivity in our Spanish car production. And we need to qualify many of our people for new tasks, including battery development and production. This calls for a lot of flexibility by everyone and a possible change of jobs. But the important news is: The overall effect on employment will be positive – despite the faster assembly times in the electric car manufacturing. If we do it right and get the right support by the Spanish government, we will be able to create additional jobs in this transition for Spain.”
In total, Volkswagen plans to build six Gigafactories in Europe with an annual capacity of 240 GWh together with partners. The group’s demand for premium cells will be met by Northvolt in Skellefteå, Sweden. To speed up the roll-out of all further cell factories coming up for Europe, Volkswagen has founded a European corporation for cell development and manufacturing and keeps the option open to integrate partners or investors. Its center of gravity – and a blueprint for all following plants – will be the Salzgitter plant in Germany starting production in 2025.