Seat plans to turn Spain into an electric vehicle hub
With the help of parent Volkswagen, SEAT is determined to transform its home country into an exemplar of electric vehicle production, based on local battery manufacturing and creating an all-encompassing supplier ecosystem.
The challenges for electrification in the automotive industry form a window of opportunity to transform Spain into a European hub for electric mobility. To support the transition, an investment led by SEAT’s parent company, the Volkswagen Group, will inject a budget of 10 billion euros, ranging from the electrification of the manufacturing plants of Martorell and Pamplona to providing them with cells from a new battery Gigafactory near Valencia. It represents the single largest industrial investment in Spain’s history and will provide over 3,000 new jobs.
Volkswagen and SEAT have created the Future:Fast Forward business grouping to shape this future. Comprising 62 companies, both national and international and with 62% being SME's, this project aims to sustainably transform the entire value chain of the Spanish automotive industry based on four pillars:
- Electrification of manufacturing plants.
- Setting up an entire battery ecosystem (from mining lithium to producing cells).
- Producing essential components for EVs locally.
- Development of training, digitalization and circular economy.
Transforming traditional structures
Bundling all stakeholders, Future:Fast Forward has applied to the governmental start-up PERTE (Circular Economy Strategic Project for Economic Recovery and Transformation) for the approval of additional funds, which are crucial to realize the ambitions put forward by the grouping.
“We are ready to initiate this transformation,’ CEO of Volkswagen Group Herbert Diess commented, “The PERTE serves as a model for the whole of Spain on how traditional industrial structures can be transformed.”
For the construction of the planned Gigafactory, Volkswagen Group is investing 3 billion euros to reach an annual production of 40 GWh. Key for the Spanish battery plant is sustainability and a closed value chain. The needed electricity will be sourced from renewables, and to sustain a circular economy, precious raw materials will be recovered on site. A photovoltaic plant will supply the mentioned green energy.
The construction of the battery Gigafactory will start in 2023 with production scheduled for 2026. “The battery factory in Sagunto will occupy a 200-hectare site and will be the third of six Gigafactories the Group plans to build across Europe. For our battery ramp-up in Spain and Europe, sustainability and a closed value chain loop are key.’ concludes Thomas Schmall Chief Technology Officer and Chairman of the Board of SEAT S.A.
Image source: Seat