Volkswagen wants to become a major player in battery production
Apple’s head of battery development was hired by VW
The automaker also recruited a solid-state cell expert from BMW
Volkswagen is moving rapidly towards electrification and it wants to have a strong presence in the battery making sector.
To reach this goal, the company recently hired two specialists that previously worked for Apple and BMW.
The first recruit is said to be Soonho Ahn, the head of battery development at Apple since 2019 who had previously worked for Samsung an LG Chem in similar positions. He will reportedly become the head of battery cell development for the German automaker.
Ahn is apparently viewed as a sort of superstar in the industry due to his work on the future Apple Car that is said to have significantly advanced the battery technology for the project, resulting in more range and lower costs, even if he was there for only two years.
Industry analysts believe that Ahn’s appointment shows that Volkswagen is serious in its electrification efforts and that the company gives a lot of importance to battery technology.
The other new recruit is Jörg Hoffmann, an expert in solid state battery cells that used to work for BMW.
His hiring signals Volkswagen, like many other automakers, is considering solid state batteries for its future EVs, a technology that can increase power-density and minimise the temperature management that is required in traditional liquid batteries, while remaining relatively safer than other chemistries.
Hoffmann will be in charge of the industrialisation of solid-state battery cells at VW, which the automaker will use in its next generation of batteries.
Both new employees are expected to work in a new laboratory for cell research and development that was opened by Volkswagen in Salzgitter two months ago.