The 3rd location of VW’s gigafactories

The Volkswagen Group announced that the Group intended to make Spain a strategic pillar of its global electrification plans. In the New Auto Strategy Day, the company explained its roadmap to 2030. For example, Volkswagen Group and SEAT will cooperate with the Spanish Government to transform Spain into a leading e-mobility hub. What’s more, they will participate in the Strategic Project for Economic Recovery and Transformation (PERTE).

Volkswagen Group will make its best efforts to build a battery cell factory in Spain.  This is a part of the Future: Fast Forward project for SEAT. The expected battery factory will be the third location for one of six gigafactories in Europe, after Sweden and Germany.

Moreover, they will produce the Small BEV Family in Spain. The Small BEV Family will play a key role in democratizing electric mobility in Europe. This is because it will make climate-neutral e-mobility accessible for more customers.

Future: Fast Forward

Last March, at its 2021 Annual Press Conference, SEAT S.A. presented an ambitious plan, which is Future: Fast Forward. The plan aims to lead the electrification of the automotive industry in Spain, with the production of urban electric vehicles.

The urban electric car would be a large project in terms of potential volume. Furthermore, it would represent an important milestone on the road to sustainability and the fight against climate change. Also, Volkswagen and SEAT expect that it can be the engine for the transformation of the Spanish automotive industry.

To be specific, the segment, of around 20-25,000 euros, is essential to make electromobility accessible to the masses. The plan would serve as a driving force to generate employment, especially for young people. This is because it includes SEAT as well as technological centers and large, medium and small companies.

Electrification is more crucial in Spain

When it comes to the number of automotive production, Spain is the second largest country in Europe behind Germany. The automotive industry has a big supply chain. Thus, this number means that lots of employees are involving with the industry in Spain. In this sense, electrification becomes more crucial. Why?

First of all, the number of parts in electric vehicles is fewer than that in gasoline or diesel engine cars. In addition to this, some of parts in gasoline or diesel engine cars will disappear when we manufacture EVs. Therefore, many companies and employees will be affected in this change. For instance, Akio Toyoda, who is the CEO of Toyota Corporation, explained that more than 5 million people were involving with the Japanese automotive industry.

However, electrification is unavoidable at the same time. This is because most countries try to realize carbon neutrality within few decades. Therefore, whether automotive companies want or not, they must make their products electrified.

The next question is how to balance these ambivalent things. Probably, the supports from government can be one solution or a prerequisite. The announcement from Volkswagen and SEAT is the example for this. What’s more, if the Spanish government wants to realize PERTE, it would be better for it to collaborate with the largest European and Spanish automotive manufacturer, respectively.