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‘Practically Unviable’ for Volkswagen to Build EV Batteries in High-Cost Europe

November 30, 2022

By Paul Homewood


h/t Dave Ward

Meanwhile China are laughing all the way to the bank!!




Volkswagen, the German carmaker that’s pledged to manufacture nothing but electric vehicles in Europe by 2035, now says it’s “practically unviable” to build the batteries they need domestically.

That’s according to Volkswagen CEO Thomas Schafer, who wrote on LinkedIn this week that “Unless we manage to reduce energy prices in Germany and Europe quickly and reliably, investments in energy-intensive production or new battery cell factories in Germany and the EU will be practically unviable.”

Don’t worry, Herr Schafer, I’m sure that Communist China would be more than willing and able to cover your needs.

It takes a lot of energy to produce a lithium-ion battery large enough to power a car or truck, and Europe’s high energy prices drive up the cost of making the batteries that were supposed to reduce costs.

Europe is enjoying record-high energy prices for a multitude of reasons.

One is the effect on markets of the Russo-Ukraine War. Another is American energy production, which has struggled to reach pre-lockdown highs [Corrected from an earlier, stupid mistake of mine]. Then there’s plain old inflation, driven by massive government money-printing to try and paper over the disastrous economic dislocations caused by unnecessary government lockdowns. (What government takes with one hand, it takes more of with the other.)

But left unsaid by Schafer, or really any other Europeans of any importance, is the high cost and intermittent availability of the “renewable” energy sources Europe has made itself so dependent upon.

Energy prices in the UK and Germany spiked this week as the winds died down and the wind farms stopped spinning.

Things are so bad in Germany that Berlin is preparing to impose a windfall profits tax on solar and wind generation.

Just wait until I tell you why.

Take a deep breath and try to wrap your head around this. Europe has been closing nuclear plants and subsidizing wind and solar. Now they’ll tax wind and solar in order to “fund a €54bn consumer aid package.”

Subsidized wind and solar are too expensive, so Germany will tax it to pay for consumer subsidies on wind and solar.

It takes a really big government to be that stupid.

  1. catweazle666 permalink
    November 30, 2022 9:43 pm

    So let’s see if I’ve got this right, they’re going to tax the subsidies?
    My brain hurts!

    • T Walker permalink
      November 30, 2022 10:47 pm

      Yes Cat it’s difficult stuff isn’t it ?

      It’s rather like sawing the legs of chair to get it to stop wobbling.

    • December 1, 2022 11:15 am

      No, not really. It is the same situation we have here where all generators are paid the same cost per Mwh as the most expensive regardless of their actual operating costs. As gas is currently very expensive, that cost well exceeds even wind and solar so those generators are making bonus profits. Same is true for coal and nuclear. I am still trying to work out why we have such a system in the first place.

      • catweazle666 permalink
        December 1, 2022 4:13 pm


  2. Devoncamel permalink
    November 30, 2022 10:05 pm

    No chance of this happening in the UK is there?
    You bet there is.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      December 1, 2022 3:34 am

      We already have most electricity prices boosted by carbon tax, and ROC subsidies applying to a large chunk of renewables. So now we have a windfall tax that tries to reclaim some of the consequences of that. We are living in the same bonkers world of subsidising the costs of subsidies and taxes.

  3. MrGrimNasty permalink
    November 30, 2022 10:17 pm

    Mini went to China already.
    And don’t forget the money already wasted on the probably dead in the water British Volt.

  4. November 30, 2022 10:39 pm

    If VW can’t handle German energy costs, who can?

    • December 1, 2022 11:15 am

      Things were so much easier when they didn’t have to pay most of their workforce….

  5. T Walker permalink
    November 30, 2022 10:45 pm

    “Practically Unviable” but I “feel” that it will be OK. We just need more powdered unicorn horn.

  6. sensescaper permalink
    November 30, 2022 11:06 pm

    At this rate – by 2030, 50% of China will be middle class and travel the world & have a good lifestyle. Here in Britain – we’ll have a bicycle (one per family), a child (one per family), be allowed out a day a week (one outing per family) and a dark green itchy uniform (one per person). Unless … we really stop moaning and grab WEFminster by the scrotum and squeeze it till you can hear the screams of pain out at Gravesend & the Thames flood barrier has to open a bit wider on account of a sudden and unexpected tear-surge. It’s up to us. No.. really …

  7. Broadlands permalink
    November 30, 2022 11:57 pm

    “…now says it’s “practically unviable” to build the batteries they need domestically.”

    That’s because the fuels needed for all of the transportation involved must come from fossil fuels. And that will necessarily add more CO2 to the atmosphere. This craziness to pretend we can decarbonize economies to “save the planet” must meet reality… eventually.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      December 1, 2022 1:04 am

      Still politicians think that raising electricity and gas prices won’t be noticed by the public because they can ‘blame it on Putin’. Then the inevitable inflation of goods and services following will be blamed on? The unvaxed? The left handers? And the flood of illegal immigrants onto Welfare making life difficult for the mass. I fear an almighty explosion of wrath coming.

      • catweazle666 permalink
        December 1, 2022 1:24 am


      • Graeme No.3 permalink
        December 1, 2022 10:44 am

        Cat: Can I remind you that England has a history of rulers departing abruptly. Charles 1, James 11, Edward 8 and a certain amount of agitation for some others. I recall someone, I think Arthur Bryant, saying that “Charles 2 was careful to have the Guards always close by”, a policy followed by many succeeding monarchs.

  8. Gamecock permalink
    December 1, 2022 1:55 am

    ‘Volkswagen, the German carmaker that’s pledged to manufacture nothing but electric vehicles in Europe by 2035, now says it’s “practically unviable” to build the batteries they need domestically.’

    They convinced their work councils to let ICE production move offshore; EV production will all be in Germany.

    Then there is no EV production.


  9. John Hultquist permalink
    December 1, 2022 5:10 am

    We are now experiencing parallel universes.

  10. Alwaysquestion permalink
    December 1, 2022 6:02 am

    Sleep walking into China’s welcoming arms. Say your prayers if Milliband gets his hands on Green Policy.

    • December 1, 2022 8:31 am

      Too late – he brought in the disastrous Climate Change Act in 2008.

      • Dave Ward permalink
        December 1, 2022 1:19 pm

        Which Milliband? His equally odious brother David has said he’s considering a return to politics!

  11. T Walker permalink
    December 1, 2022 8:35 am

    The two articles today and yesterday at TCW make informative reading and are quite alarming. You now see why Liz Truss (I am no fan) had to go.

  12. December 1, 2022 8:49 am

    De-industrialization is already a done deal in the UK. Electricity demand now barely reaches a peak of much above 40 GW, here is what it was in recent decades from 2005:

    • catweazle666 permalink
      December 1, 2022 4:12 pm

      In the UK this process of “managed decline” started in the late 1950s – early 1960s.
      Before that, we made the fastest motorcycle – Vincent Black Lightning, fastest production car – Jaguar XK series, held World speed records in the air – Fairey Delta 2, on land and water – Donald Campbell’s Bluebirds, produced the World’s first grid scale nuclear power station – Calder Hall, World’s first jet air liner – DH Comet and for 50 years the World’s only effective VTOL strike fighter the Hawker Harrier, and had the program been stopped when almost complete, a Mach+ version the P1154, half a century before the F35 and we had a four engined VSTOL cargo/passenger plane – the AW681 under development too and
      we sold military aircraft such as the EE Lightning to the USA.
      So then we chucked it all away, what went wrong?

  13. GeoffB permalink
    December 1, 2022 9:11 am

    The complete annihilation of western motor industry was a pretty obvious result of the net zero policy. Basic economics! Look at domestic computers, all made in China/Taiwan. Kitchen appliances fridge, freezer, washing machines, kettles, vacuum cleaners mostly made in far east and Turkey (although much of Turkey is drug money laundering). However I had failed to appreciate how much the chemical processing and engineering industry would be decimated, Iron and steel are already ruined!
    So as the economic consequences of net zero are so obvious, even to the thickest of politicians, it just confirms that the destruction of western society is the plan.

    • Gamecock permalink
      December 1, 2022 10:59 am


  14. Harry Passfield permalink
    December 1, 2022 10:34 am

    It must be my twisted sense of schadenfreude but slapping a ‘windfall tax’ on wind has a kind of scatological flavour – which is quite delicious.

    • Gamecock permalink
      December 1, 2022 11:00 am

      Excellent prose, Mr Passfield!

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        December 1, 2022 11:24 am

        (blush) Ta

  15. Realist permalink
    December 1, 2022 4:45 pm

    It is beyond idiotic to produce cars (or anything else) that the actual market does not want. The market wants and needs diesel and petrol vehicles, maybe even LPG, that do not have range problems and don’t take hours to “refill”.
    >>Volkswagen, the German carmaker that’s pledged to manufacture nothing but electric vehicles in Europe

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