Speaker Interview, Frank Blome, Vice President Battery Cells, Volkswagen
Frank Blome, Vice President Battery Cells at Volkswagen and speaker in the joint Keynote Sessions for The Battery Show Conference and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Conference Europe this year, discusses electric vehicle markets, battery development and networking at the show in our latest speaker interview.
Frank Blome is an electrical engineering graduate and started his career in 1995 as a development engineer. After working in Continental AG as project manager and development manager for electric drives, he took over the management of the Energy Management division of Continental AG in 2004. In 2009 he was appointed CEO of the German ACCUmotive GmbH in Kirchheim unter Teck and Kamenz. Since 1 January 2018, Frank Blome has headed the Center of Excellence for Battery Cells at Volkswagen.
Tell us about your role and responsibilities – what do you see as your core focus for the immediate and long-term future?
I am the vice president battery cells at Volkswagen. As this role and the organisation itself is something very new, our immediate focus is to rise and shine. By that, I mean we have a lot of experience in battery development within the brand, but that is just the beginning. Our mission is to offer our customers the best electromobility experience. For me, this means being responsible for the essence of electric cars; quality, performance and economic efficiency of the battery. That is my mission.
Where do you see the biggest growth opportunities in electric vehicle markets?Volkswagen is a global player. We maintain facilities in 14 countries, where we produce vehicles for customers from more than 150 nations. Therefore, we are thinking globally, but progress will be done ‘step by step’. China is a very important market for us and China will be the basis for our new Modular Electrification Toolkit (MEB).
Can you pinpoint what you see as the biggest challenge to battery manufacturing growth in Europe?
From my point of view, this will be the lead in technology combined with a sustainable business case.
What do you see as the biggest disrupter to the EV industry in the next decade?
If all questions regarding industrialization are answered, the solid-state batteries. This will be a game changer. Another disrupter will be the reduction of high cost metals – for example, cobalt.
What are you most looking forward to at The Battery Show 2018?
It’s all about the network; talking to old contacts and meeting new people. Listening to good talks and presentations is one thing, but talking to people – that’s the reason for me to be there.
Who would be your best all-time five dinner party guests and why?
More than five, but in any case my family and my best friends
Frank Blome will be speaking on Tuesday 15 May in The Leaders Debate: Can European Cell Manufacturing Catch up session.
Volkswagen will also be exhibiting at Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo 2018 at Stand B471.