Volkswagen inks battery deals with Belgium's Umicore, Canadian govt

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen's battery subsidiary Powerco and Belgium's Umicore are to extend their cooperation on cathode material to Canada, which the carmaker is considering as the location of its first North American cell factory, VW said on Thursday.

The German auto giant signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with materials firm Umicore for a long-term strategic partnership geared towards future cell production in the region, a statement said.

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.

Volkswagen CEO Oliver Blume and Canadian industry minister Francois-Philippe Champagne also signed an addendum to their existing MoU from August, agreeing to identify suitable sites for the planned cell plant.

"Battery technology is key for our strategy," said Blume, adding that Volkswagen was committed to investing in North America.

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; Editing by Miranda Murray)


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