Author: Yu Liyan
Many automotive companies have been slow to move in the field of new energy vehicles, one of the main reasons for concern about the safety of power batteries. In recent years, there have been many accidents at home and abroad that caused the spontaneous combustion of electric vehicles caused by power battery problems. Some of the auto giants that are about to make a big push into electric vehicles are trying to put an end to potential safety hazards and are cautious about controlling battery risk. According to foreign media reports, the global auto giant Volkswagen Automobile Group has formed a task force with LG, a Korean battery supplier, and will maintain a high frequency of meetings to ensure that LG can provide a stable supply of safe battery products to Volkswagen.
According to Volkswagen's plan, it will launch 18 new electric vehicles based on its MEB platform by 2022 as part of Volkswagen's future roadmap E (electrification). In the upcoming upcoming electric vehicle products, golf grade I.D. Compact electric vehicles will be released in November next year.
As early as March 21, LG Chemicals said it had been selected by Volkswagen Group as a supplier of batteries for electric vehicles. "We have received a letter of intent from the public, but no formal agreement has yet been signed between the two sides," a senior LG Chemicals executive said.
The Polish state agency ARP also confirmed that LG Chemical will open Europe's largest battery plant for electric vehicles in Poland this year. The plant will employ 2,500 people to produce enough batteries for 100,000 batteries, which means it will produce several gigawatt-hours of capacity each year.
According to ARP, LG Chemistry plans to invest 5.9 billion Zloty ($1.63 billion) in a new plant near the city of Frotswaff, Poland. Frotswaff is 190 km (118 miles) from the German border, and Germany is the headquarters of Volkswagen. Volkswagen plans to invest more than 20 billion euros ($24 billion) in zero-emission vehicles by 2030 and to produce 3 million electric vehicles a year by 2025.
At present, Europe has a number of car manufacturers willing to buy batteries from LG's new plant, including Jaguar, Volkswagen, Renault-Nissan and Daimler leading brands.
It is interesting to note that the safety of electric vehicle batteries has been mentioned in Volkswagen and LG this cooperation is very significant position. In order to ensure the quality and stability of the batteries supplied by LG, the head of Volkswagen's electric vehicle business has met with the head of LG at the LG plant in Poland and decided to form a task force to address the battery supply problems. Volkswagen believes that in the battery supply process, due to the use of new battery technology, there may be hidden dangers in battery production, battery packaging and other aspects.
Tomasz Ulrich, Volkswagen's executive in charge of electric vehicles, said LG had relatively little experience in producing batteries for electric vehicles, although the batteries were widely used in consumer electronics. Batteries used by electric vehicles are more stringent for manufacturing processes.
"There's a very strong team in our R&D team that specializes in batteries, including battery chemistry. At the same time, we are also cooperating with Chinese suppliers around the next generation of batteries. " Diess, the new president of Volkswagen this year, told First Financial Reporter earlier that he also acknowledged that the biggest challenge facing Volkswagen in terms of batteries may be the need to be large enough. To cope with this challenge, the public will have more partners.
"In the future, battery manufacturing for new energy vehicles will be made by battery companies, while battery packs and battery management systems will be controlled by the mainframe manufacturers. This logic is correct." Yin Chengliang, director of the Institute of Automotive Energy Saving Technology at Shanghai Jiaotong University, told the first financial reporter that complementary advantages are in the interests of Volkswagen Group, which has already cooperated with Ningde Age, a local battery manufacturer in China. At the same time, Yin Chengliang also pointed out that the safety of batteries is also an important element of the host plant.
Since the beginning of this year, the spontaneous combustion of new energy vehicles has occurred frequently in China. Not long ago, a EX5 electric car suddenly caught fire in the Chengdu Real Madrid research park. According to incomplete statistics, up to now, dozens of new energy vehicle fires have occurred. Ouyang Minggao, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, explained that the thermal runaway of the battery was the main cause of the recent fire accident of new energy vehicles. The so-called thermal runaway of the battery, i.e. when the battery reaches a certain temperature within a short period of time, will produce a chain reaction, "the highest temperature rise rate can be close to 1000 degrees centigrade per second". Ouyang Minggao believes that the basic problem of power battery fire and other conditions is the quality of products, new energy vehicles in the design, manufacture, verification, use process did not strictly comply with the relevant technical standards and specifications.
"There may be risks in the three or four tier suppliers, especially in these new technologies. That's why we established this special group with LG chemistry. " Ulrich, who is in charge of the main engine plant, also said that in order to ensure that Volkswagen's goal of producing 300,000 electric vehicles by 2021 is met, it is a good plan to work with LG to deal with the problems encountered in the battery production process, because the battery is the basis of electric vehicles.
Volkswagen's cautious attitude toward battery production is very similar to that of Mercedes-Benz, whose head of production has previously said that the company needs to pay close attention to battery components made by Kamenz, Germany.
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