BERLIN, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Volkswagen has
begun searching for a site for the German carmaker's first
battery cell factory in North America, its CEO announced on
Confirming an earlier Reuters story, Volkswagen CEO Oliver
Blume and Canadian industry minister Francois-Philippe Champagne
signed an addendum to their existing memorandum of understanding
from August, agreeing to identify suitable sites for the planned
Blume said that battery technology was key for the company's
strategy and that it was committed to investing in North
"Canada is one logical option for the construction of a
gigafactory in the region of North America, he said, adding it
offered ideal economic conditions and high sustainability
Such a plant would be Volkswagen's first gigafactory outside
Volkswagen's battery subsidiary Powerco also announced it
was extending a deal to cooperate with Belgium's Umicore
on shipping cathode material to Canada.
The German auto giant said it was a long-term strategic
partnership geared toward future cell production in North
In the August memorandum of understanding, Volkswagen
and mineral-rich Canada agreed to intensify efforts to secure
access to lithium, nickel and cobalt.
In September, Volkswagen and Umicore announced a $2.9
billion battery parts joint venture to supply PowerCo's European
battery cell factories with key materials from 2025 onwards.
Europe's carmakers have pushed to secure stakes in battery
production on the continent, but the industry there is still in
The United States is also trying to attract investments in
green technology such as electric-powered vehicles and battery
production with its Inflation Reduction Act.
The European Union has taken issue with the $430 billion
package, which makes tax breaks conditional on U.S-manufactured
content, due to concerns of unfair competition.
(Reporting by Jan Schwartz; Writing by Rachel More and Madeline
Chambers; Editing by Miranda Murray and Lisa Shumaker)