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A Gigafactory of one's own: VW may build itself a battery factory

With the number of new EVs slated for the next decade, battery production will become a prime concern.

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf

Automakers are hoping that consumers will embrace electric vehicles with open arms. But what if demand far outpaces the supply of, say, batteries to power those cars? Volkswagen thinks it has a pretty easy answer.

The German company hinted that it might need to build its own battery production facilities, Reuters reports, citing a Frankfurt newspaper interview with VW CEO Matthias Mueller. "If more than a quarter of our cars are to be electronic vehicles in the foreseeable future then we are going to need approximately 3 million batteries a year," Mueller said. "Then it makes sense to build our own factory."

Right now, Volkswagen and a litany of other automakers rely on outside suppliers for their batteries. General Motors uses LG Chem for its Volt and Bolt EV vehicles, while Volkswagen currently sides with Panasonic.

Panasonic is also working with Tesla to develop the Gigafactory, Tesla's future battery production facility. More likely than not, Volkswagen would build a facility with the help of an already established battery manufacturer, as doing it on its own would be rather expensive -- and VW has many other ways to burn through cash at the moment.

Nevertheless, Volkswagen is determined to move forward with its EV plans. The company plans to introduce some 30 different electric vehicles over the next decade or so, which will likely be split between VW's numerous brands, including Audi and Porsche.