The new battery line at the Belgium plant will support production of the XC40 Recharge P8, Volvo’s first fully electric car, with production scheduled to begin later this year
Earlier this year, Volvo also announced the planned construction of a battery assembly line at its US plant outside Charleston, South Carolina. Construction of that assembly line is expected to start this autumn. The company will also build battery electric vehicles at a its manufacturing plant in Luqiao, China, where Volvo cars based on the CMA platform are built alongside Polestar and LYNK & CO models with similar underpinnings.
In line with other OEMs seeking to secure reliable supply chains for vital EV components, Volvo Cars recently signed long-term supply agreements with global battery suppliers, CATL of China and LG Chem of South Korea. The agreements cover the supply of batteries over the coming decade for next-generation Volvo and Polestar models, including the XC40 Recharge P8. Volvo said that battery assembly will become an important part of its global manufacturing operations as it continues to electrify its entire line-up, and that operations at the Ghent plant will provide important feedback to other manufacturing sites in terms of process optimisation and efficiency.
Geert Bruyneel, head of Global Production Operations, said: “As the first of our plants to get a battery assembly line, Ghent plays a pioneering role as we continue to prepare our manufacturing network for electrification.”
Ghent, currently employing around 6,500 people, is one of two car manufacturing plants operated by Volvo Cars in Europe and has produced Volvos since 1965.
The XC40 Recharge P8 is the first of a family of fully electric Volvos, and is part of the OEM’s electrification strategy and climate action plan that aims to reduce its lifecycle carbon footprint per car by 40% between 2018 and 2025, as a first step towards its goal of becoming a climate-neutral company by 2040.