BATTERY TECHNOLOGY Audi is establishing a high-voltage battery development at the Neckarsulm site
Audi is already developing high-voltage batteries for plug-in hybrids in Neckarsulm. Now, development of complete high-voltage battery portfolios for fully electric vehicles is being predominantly settled at that location and gradually expanded for that purpose. Additionally, a battery center for testing high-voltage storage technologies will go into operation by 2023.
A clear roadmap: Audi is promoting development of strategically significant skills for electromobility at the Neckarsulm site. “High-voltage batteries and electric engines make up an important strategic component of future value creation in a transformed auto industry. That is why we are systematically expanding our competency in developing these components,” says Oliver Hoffmann, Member of the Board for Technical Development at Audi. The structures for PHEV high-voltage battery development already exist: for that reason, the location is best prepared for also developing the complete high-voltage battery portfolio. In perspective, personnel in high-voltage battery development – in continued close collaboration with high-voltage battery development at the Ingolstadt site – will be located primarily in Neckarsulm.
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Technical center for developing and testing battery prototypes
Additionally, a battery center is in development at the Neckarsulm site: in this laboratory for pilot projects, employees with additional training who previously worked at the testing facility for combustion engines will be testing prototypes of new high-voltage storage modules for various electric vehicles starting in 2023.“The company’s investment decision to locate high-voltage battery development and a battery center in Neckarsulm is a clear commitment to electrification and with it the site’s long-term security,” says Audi Neckarsulm Plant Manager Fred Schulze. The newly anchored high-voltage battery competency in Neckarsulm will additionally benefit from the expertise that is already available at that site: it will create synergies with the light-construction center.
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Employees’ competency as a key to success in electromobility
“The decision to locate battery development in Neckarsulm is an important first step toward giving the Technical Development staff at that location a secure outlook on the future even after combustion engines have been discontinued,” says Rolf Klotz, chairman of the Works Council. “Consequently, Audi is banking on the high competency of its employees in Neckarsulm to successfully shape the future of electromobility.” Since late 2020, Audi has continuously trained employees in the Neckarsulm Technical Development unit for the field of high-voltage energy storage system and more and more employees will be brought into this field in the coming years. To become specialists in this field, Audi employees in the Technical Development unit have access to various advanced training opportunities.
Audi’s commitment to the Neckarsulm site is also reflected in several construction projects: New construction on a multi-function building for the Technical Development unit will be completed in late 2022 and the new paint shop by 2025. A new building for assembly is already geared toward mixed production and future e-models. The e-tron GT – the leading edge on Audi’s path toward an electric future – will be manufactured in the “Böllinger Höfe” plant. With the plug-in hybrids and mild hybrids of the A6, A7, and A8 models, the core series of the Audi site are already being electrified today.
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With its “Vorsprung 2030” strategy, Audi has announced that it will exclusively bring new electric models to the world market starting in 2026. The company will phase out production of internal combustion engines between by 2033. Audi will correspondingly transform its locations and employees: since 2017, about 28,000 Audi employees have already been trained for e-mobility.