Following the speech of Volkswagen Group’s Dr. Tobias Giebel, head of the Volkswagen Research Lab in Shanghai, at the EV Battery Forum in Shanghai, our media partner Alysha Webb wrote an interesting article in which Dr Giebel sounded quite optimistic about the potential to develop a battery supplier base in China. Of course, it behooves him to sound optimistic—it is his job to develop that supplier base and one always likes to feel as if they are successful at their job.
Volkswagen www.volkswagenag.com is working closely with about 20 of China’s than 100 battery producers, and is already seeing improvement, he said. “We think in a couple of years we will have really strong suppliers in fully domestic companies,” said Giebel. When they are up to global standards, Volkswagen will use the same Chinese source for its Asia, Europe, and the United States operations, he said.
Today, China’s lithium-ion battery makers are focused on consumer technology, said Giebel. Its automotive-grade batteries are not up to the high-level vehicle traction battery manufacturers in Korea or Japan, he said.
But, “we are observing in these days our first success of the Chinese suppliers,” said Giebel in a later email communication. “Therefore we are optimistic that Chinese vehicle traction battery cells will become competitive soon.” He added: “We will not accept lower safety, quality, or performance for our Chinese business.”