Umicore and PowerCo joint venture named IONWAY to build cathode active materials for electric vehicles (EVs) in Poland

  • Joint venture named IONWAY, a start-up with a head start, backed by Umicore and Volkswagen’s battery maker PowerCo 
  • Large-scale production of sustainable battery materials for electric vehicles (EVs): precursors (pCAM) and cathode active materials (CAM)
  • CEO Thomas Jansseune of Umicore and CFO Achim Holzer of PowerCo to swiftly ramp-up industrialization of most valuable battery asset

Umicore and Volkswagen backed battery company PowerCo are proud to announce the name and branding of their first-of-its kind cooperation. Their Brussels-headquartered joint venture for large-scale industrial production of CAM and pCAM in Europe will bear the name IONWAY.  

IONWAY is designed to supply PowerCo’s European battery cell factories with key battery materials and cover a large part of PowerCo’s EU demand, while providing Umicore with secured access to an important part of the European demand for EV cathode materials. Both parents aim to grow IONWAY’s annual production capacity to 160 GWh by the end of the decade, corresponding to 2.2 million battery-electric vehicles.

IONWAY is the first-of-its-kind partnership between a car manufacturer based in Europe and a producer of CAM, producing sustainable battery materials for the EV transition and a zero-emission future. Both parent companies are deeply committed to scaling up the EU footprint in the e-mobility business by establishing regional, sustainable and transparent battery supply chains.

Cathode active materials are the key technological lever for battery performance, they are the single biggest contributor to overall battery cost and define its carbon footprint. They are thus strategically important input materials central to battery value creation, and crucial for a successful powertrain transition towards sustainable e-mobility.

 IONWAY will combine the resources and know-how that propel this transition and make sustainable progress accessible, banding together to build a new momentum with high-performance battery technology in a powerful partnership.  

PowerCo CPO Jörg Teichmann“Through IONWAY, PowerCo reaches another milestone of our strategy to vertically integrate the battery supply chain. Together with our trusted partner Umicore, we source our own key cell production materials at reasonable prices. Secure access allows PowerCo to supply cost-competitive battery cells to Volkswagen for years to come ‒ enabling its brands to offer attractive, affordable EVs to its customers.”

IONWAY CEO Thomas Jansseune“The foundation of IONWAY sends a strong signal for the roll-out of battery cell technology in Europe. We believe this company will provide important building blocks in helping the European Union to achieve its Green Deal ambitions.”