Volvo Group’s truck plant in Ghent, Belgium, has announced that in 2025 it will start to produce battery modules. So far, the group has been dependent on partners to supply both cells and modules to the group. The investment decision to install battery module manufacturing capacity in Ghent is another important step for Volvo Group to shape its future value chain for battery systems.
The new battery module manufacturing line in Ghent will allow them to use battery cells both from partners and from the planned battery cell plant in Sweden.
“We have started the investment process to establish battery module manufacturing in Ghent. The building is expected to be 12,000 m2 and be located at the Volvo Group manufacturing site. The new high-tech module factory will consist of an almost fully automated process with robots. This means that employees with the necessary competencies will be recruited, both externally and by building on our internal competencies,” says Jens Holtinger, Executive Vice President of Group Trucks Operations.
Volvo Group plans to invest 75 million euros for this first step of module manufacturing.
The Volvo Group truck assembly plant in Gothenburg, Sweden, employs almost 95,000 people and serves customers in more than 190 markets. Volvo Group is already building heavy-duty electric trucks, the first global manufacturer in the world to do so. Volvo Trucks is beginning series production of the electric versions of the company’s most important product range, its heavy-duty trucks: Volvo FH, Volvo FM, and Volvo FMX These trucks can operate at a total weight of 44 tonnes and the three models represent around two-thirds of the company’s sales.
Back in September, Roger Alm, President of Volvo Trucks, said: “This is a milestone and proves that we are leading the transformation of the industry. It’s less than two years ago since we showcased our heavy electric trucks for the very first time. Now we are ramping up volumes and will deliver these great trucks to customers all over Europe, and later on also to customers in Asia, Australia, and Latin America.”
“We have sold around 1,000 units of our heavy electric trucks and more than 2,600 of our electric trucks in total. We expect volumes to increase significantly in the next few years. By 2030, at least 50 percent of the trucks we sell globally should be electric,” said Roger Alm.
In the second half of 2023, the plant in Ghent will also start to produce battery-electric heavy-duty trucks. The battery packs needed to power these electric trucks are built in the Ghent plant.
On October 20, Volvo’s President and CEO, Martin Lundstedt, said that “the ramp-up of electric vehicles will require large volumes of high-performing batteries, produced using fossil-free energy, and it is a logical next step for us to include battery production in our future industrial footprint.”
The investment decision to install battery module manufacturing capacity in Ghent is another important step for Volvo Group to shape its future value chain for battery systems.
“In Q3 2022, the Volvo Group’s strong growth continued. We increased our net sales by 35% to SEK 114.9 billion with a good development both in the sales of vehicles and in the service business. The adjusted operating income rose to SEK 11.9 billion (9.4) with an adjusted operating margin of 10.3% (11.0). A reduction in working capital contributed to a strong operating cash flow of SEK 14.6 billion (-5.7) in Industrial Operations. Return on capital employed improved to 27.4% (25.6),” said Lundstedt.
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