Volkswagen announced on Monday a $2.9 billion battery parts joint venture with Belgian materials firm Umicore, becoming the latest European automaker to bring battery supplies closer to home in the shift towards electric vehicles. While raw materials - among them lithium, cobalt, nickel and manganese - will still be largely sourced from across the world, cathode production for batteries will take place in Europe under the joint venture, most likely at Umicore's Poland plant.
Belgian firm Umicore sees its newly inaugurated battery materials plant in Poland potentially powering 3 million electric vehicles (EVs) in the second half of the decade, it said on Wednesday. The company said it saw potential to increase the plant's annual production capacity in gigawatt hours (GWh) to over 200 GWh in the second half of the decade, the equivalent of 3 million electric vehicles. "The current energy crisis will be a facilitator of electrification," Chief Executive Officer Mathias Miedreich said during a press conference, adding that "customers' electric vehicles are selling like never before".
(Reuters) -Belgian chemicals and battery materials company Umicore raised a key earnings forecast on Friday on the back of a strong performance in its EST unit which makes cathodes for electric vehicles, boosting its shares more than 7% to a one-month high. The group said it now sees full-year adjusted operating profit (EBIT) to be "somewhat above" current consensus, which stands at 827.7 million euros ($845.2 million). Shares in the group had fallen sharply last month after it presented a more expensive than expected 5 billion euro plan to bulk up its battery materials business, raising concerns the plan could lead to higher debt and require significant external funding.