SALZGITTER, Germany—Many of the world’s traditional auto makers are racing to develop their own batteries for electric cars, embracing a strategy that helped turn Tesla Inc. into the market’s biggest player.
Volkswagen AG’s yearslong effort shows the challenges.
Analysts forecast that the German giant, already one of the world’s two largest auto makers by sales, will be its biggest EV maker as soon as next year.
Making a cost-effective battery, though, is key to whether the push makes Volkswagen any money.
VW unveiled its first battery production plans in 2019. Industry analysts say the company is further along than most of its old-auto peers in developing an in-house battery capacity, but it initially underestimated the scale and complexity of the task, according to company executives.
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