The Neckarsulm site is to become Europe's leading competence centre for the development of batteries for the electric Audi vehicles. The location is to be expanded, employees will receive special training in the new technologies and a battery center for testing will go into operation by 2023.
Battery development is a strategic component of electric mobility. Audi has decided to focus on the Neckarsulm site, which in the near future will become a centre of competency for this technology.
To support the transformation, Audi will offer employees at the location - where batteries for plug-in hybrid vehicles are already being developed - various advanced training programs. At the same time, the plant will be expanded for the purpose, and by 2023 an innovative test centre for high-voltage storage technology will also go into operation.
From PHEV to 100% electric
"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", explains Oliver Hoffmann, Member of the Board for Technical Development at Audi AG.
The Neckarsulm plant is already operating in R&D for the development of batteries for PHEV vehicles - the location is therefore best prepared for also developing the complete high-voltage battery portfolio. In perspective, Neckarsulm will thus become Audi's reference centre for high-voltage battery development, also in terms of personnel, in close and continuous cooperation with the Ingolstadt site.
l. to r.: Fred Schulze, Neckarsulm Plant Manager; Rolf Klotz, Chairman of the Works Council, AUDI AG plant, Neckarsulm; Oliver Hoffmann, Member of the Board for Technical Development of Audi AG; Stephan Reil, Head of Technical Development, Neckarsulm.
Pilot projects for batteries
A test centre for prototype of new high-voltage storage modules will also be set up in Neckarsulm. From 2023, employees from the combustion engines test facility will work on prototypes of new battery modules and cells here, after receiving special training.
“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”, explains Audi Neckarsulm Plant Manager Fred Schulze, who goes on to emphasise that synergies within the site will also be able to apply to the light construction centre.
Training for electric batteries
“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”, specifies Rolf Klotz, Chairman of the Works Council.
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.
New buildings for electric mobility
The construction of a multifunctional 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 Audi e-tron GT is produced at the certified carbon-neutral Audi Böllinger Höfe site. From 2026 Audi will introduce exclusively new 100% electric models on the global market; the production of internal combustion engines will be phased out by 2033. From 2017 to date, around 30,000 Audi employees have been trained for electric mobility.
Source: AUDI AG
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