Volkswagen has entered into talks with the Germany-based solar energy firm SMA Solar about a potential energy storage business collaboration, according to recent reports.
Talks are still in the early phase, though, so it may be that nothing comes out of them. When questioned recently on the matter, an SMA Solar spokesperson commented: “It’s way too soon, there is nothing yet that we can say. When things are ready, we will announce them with VW.”
It should be noted here that SMA Solar currently works with both Daimler and Tesla in the energy storage field.
A VW spokesperson at the company’s facility in Kassel (the company’s only facility manufacturing electric drivetrains) noted that the search for the “right partners” to push the company’s “electric offensive” was key, and that “SMA Solar is strong in stationary storage systems.”
Notably, Volkswagen has put forward an aggressive plan to become a leading electric car producer, and is considering a move aimed at becoming a leading EV battery pack producer. Among conventional automakers, no other company seems to have such forward-looking plans. The move has been stimulated or hastened, ironically, by Volkswagen getting caught in massive diesel emissions cheating. The resulting company disaster has led the company to clean electric vehicles. It plans to have 25% of its global sales coming from electric cars by 2025 (total electric car sales are still below 1% in all but a few countries), with targeted sales of 2–3 million electric cars per year by 2025. These sales would be driven by 30 fully electric models the company plans to release.
There are, of course, those who remain unconvinced by Volkswagen’s recent rhetoric and consider it all to be a PR campaign meant to rehabilitate the firm’s public image (myself included).