LeftLaneNews
  1. Home
  2. VW Group mulls single battery design to slash EV, hybrid costs

VW Group mulls single battery design to slash EV, hybrid costs

by Justin King

The company\'s development head suggests a unified design could reduce battery costs by up to 66 percent.

Volkswagen Group is reportedly considering a unified battery design for electric vehicles and hybrids sold across all of its brands.

Switching to a common cell could reduce the battery costs by up to 66 percent, according to development head Heinz-Jakob Neusser. The cells could be configured into modules of varying capacity, presumably including the 48-volt systems required for electrified turbochargers or higher-voltage modules used in hybrids and pure EVs.

"We have a clear understanding in the group of a common cell," Neusser told Automotive News. "That means each member of the group, each brand, uses the same cell."

It is unclear if the executive is hinting at a switch to small cells, such as the popular '18650' cylindrical batteries that can be found in flashlights and laptop computers -- and the Tesla Model S when packaged by the thousands. The comments could also be a sign that VW Group is simply moving to a single supplier for larger cells, however a spokesperson suggested multiple suppliers could be tasked with building a single cell design.

The company has also invested in a startup, QuantumScape, that is developing solid-state batteries that could potentially deliver three times the energy density of traditional lithium-ion cells with a liquid electrolyte. Some energy experts cast doubt on claims of such breakthroughs, and General Motors' investment in Envia Systems serves as a cautionary tale.