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The high-power-charging park with new automotive powerbank in the background is open (from left): Florian Köhler, Project Manager AW Automotive, Ingolf Keller, Energy Officer, Karen Kutzner, Managing Director Finance and Controlling VW Saxony, Lars Thielemann, Head of Planning and Jörg Engelmann, Head of Innovation. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Cars

Volkswagen Battery Modules Power Fast Charging Park, Sales Up 27% Year Over Year

Volkswagen electric car sales were up strongly year on year in the first half of 2022, despite supply chain issues.

Like every automaker, Volkswagen has been hit with production challenges due to computer chip shortages and supply chain interruptions related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, the latest press release from the company says deliveries of its battery electric vehicles were up 27% year on year through the first six months of 2021. Its best selling BEV models in that time span were:

  • Volkswagen ID.4/ID.5 — 66,800 units
  • Volkswagen ID.3 — 26,000 units
  • Audi e-tron (incl. Sportback) — 24,700 units
  • ŠKODA Enyaq iV (incl. Coupé) — 22,200 units
  • Porsche Taycan (incl. Cross Turismo) — 18,900 units
  • Audi Q4 e-tron (incl. Sportback) — 18,200 units

In total, 217,100 battery electric vehicles were delivered to customers in the first half of 2022 compared to 170,900 in the same period last year. Orders in Europe were up 40% and deliveries in China increased more than three fold to 63,500 units compared to 18,300 during the first half of 2021.

Hildegard Wortmann, Volkswagen Group board member responsible for sales, says, “We successfully continued our electric ramp-up despite challenging conditions, especially in the second quarter. Demand continues to be strong and we expect an improving supply situation in the second half of the year. June BEV deliveries showed a clear upward trend already to the monthly levels of Q4 2021. We are working intensively to reduce the high order bank and the delivery times for our customers and are committed to our goal of a BEV share of 7 to 8 percent for the full year.”

Broken down by region, Europe was still clearly in the lead, with 128,800 vehicles (59 percent) in the first 6 months. The second biggest market was China, with 63,500 deliveries (29 percent). In the US, 17,000 cars were delivered (8 percent).

By brand, Volkswagen delivered 115,900 battery electric cars (53 percent) to customers, followed by Audi with 50,000 vehicles (23 percent), ŠKODA with 22,200 vehicles (10 percent), Porsche with 18,900 vehicles (9 percent), and SEAT/CUPRA with 8,300 vehicles (4 percent).

Volkswagen MEB Battery Modules Power Fast Charging Hub

In other news from Volkswagen Group, the company has bundled 96 MEB battery modules from pre-production ID.3 and ID.4 cars into a power storage container with a total of 570 kWh of capacity to provide electricity to the first fast charging park in the German state of Saxony. Adjacent to the Volkswagen assembly plant in Zwickau, this project demonstrates that fast charging infrastructure can be built nearly anywhere, even if in places with a low-capacity grid connection. Residential areas are one example of where power storage containers could be used.

All 96 modules were formerly installed as batteries in pre-production models of the ID.3 and ID.4 and have now been given a second purpose. Volkswagen created an interim step between supplying batteries for new cars and recycling those that are no longer capable of powering an electric car.

Karen Kutzner, managing director for finance and controlling at Volkswagen Sachsen: “Reusing batteries is important for the future and it’s closely linked to the acceleration in the trend toward electric mobility. With the power storage container, Volkswagen Sachsen is demonstrating a practical, cost effective and useful case to enable cell modules at the end of their service lives to have a second life.

“This automotive power bank could be used wherever the capacity of the grid connection is too low but there is demand for powerful charging infrastructure. Innovative ideas like this could provide renewed impetus for the critical buildup of fast-charging infrastructure.”

A power storage container offers a cost effective alternative to a transformer station, the company says. It enables large quantities of energy to be provided in a short time without overburdening the electricity grid.

The charging park at the Zwickau factory is composed of four charging stations, each with an output of 150 kW, which can also be divided into two outputs of 75 kW, which allows up to eight vehicles to charge at the same time. A portion of the electricity comes from nearby solar panels. Three fast charging parks will be in operation on the plant grounds by the end of this year. The power storage container is based on a similar project created by Audi in Nuremburg that uses lithium-ion batteries from disassembled Audi test vehicles to store DC electricity.

Unlike BMW, which still is approaching the coming EV revolution with caution, Volkswagen Group has embraced the transition and the need to lower emissions from all phases of its operations enthusiastically. Since 2017, all the electricity used by the Zwickau factory has come from renewable sources, some onsite and some located remotely.

 
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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.

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