Volkswagen’s battery arm PowerCo won’t IPO until all factories are open


Volkswagen isn’t planning to list its battery startup PowerCo on the stock market until all of its factories are operational and its batteries are in use, according to a recent statement from a chairperson at the company.

Thomas Schmall, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of PowerCo and Volkswagen AG Board Member, told Reuters that the Volkswagen subsidiary wouldn’t consider an Initial Public Offering (IPO) until all of the company’s factories are open and it’s utilizing its unified battery cells in vehicles. The statement means that Volkswagen’s battery arm won’t go public for at least a few years under its current factory plans.

“In a second step, an IPO remains an option for the future,” Schmall said. “However, this will only become an issue once the factories are up and running and the standardised cell is in use.”

Volkswagen EV deliveries increase by 45% since January 2023

PowerCo plans to use its unified battery cell, a single cell design in three separate battery chemistry offerings, in 80 percent of its EVs starting in 2025. The Volkswagen subsidiary will produce the cells at its factory in Salzgitter, Germany, along with future plants in Valencia, Spain, and St. Thomas, in Ontario, Canada — expected to open in 2025, 2026 and 2027, respectively.

With these three factories, the company is aiming for a battery cell production capacity of 240 GWh per year by 2030, and it’s targeting 20 billion euros (~$21.7 billion) in sales by the same year. Under these plans, the Volkswagen battery unit likely wouldn’t be able to reach the aforementioned conditions for an IPO until at least 2026, or more likely 2027, once its third plant has opened.

In the past, PowerCo has avoided talks of a potential IPO, though it previously planned to make the business “investor-ready” by 2024. Last year was also the lowest level of IPO activity on the market since 2016, while some say EV sentiment has also dipped.

Schmall also told Reuters that PowerCo is no longer considering a second battery cell factory in Europe, at least not at the current time.

“At the moment this is not on the table from both a competitive and cost perspective,” Schmall said of the potential for an additional European plant.

Volkswagen launched PowerCo in 2022, in hopes to create a streamlined, in-house supply chain for electric vehicle (EV) batteries. The automaker also hopes the battery startup will help it compete with Tesla in the emerging EV market.

In October, PowerCo also entered into a joint venture (JV) with Umicore called Ionway, which will produce cathode active materials (CAM) and pCAM in Brussels, Belgium. The venture expects to be able to produce 160 GWh per year of CAM and pCAM materials by 2030, which it says would be enough to support the production of 2.2 million battery-electric vehicles (BEVs).

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Volkswagen’s battery arm PowerCo won’t IPO until all factories are open


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