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BMZ takes control of TerraE to launch German cell production ‘by 2020’

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Sven Bauer

Lithium-ion developer and producer BMZ has taken control of German peer TerraE Holding, in a move to cement Germany’s position as a future leader in European battery cell manufacturing.

BMZ, which describes itself as Europe’s largest producer of lithium-ion battery systems, said taking majority ownership was part of plans to launch battery cells production in Germany by 2020.

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Germany’s billion-euro bid to lead EU battery cell production

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Peter Altmeier

Germany has pledged to pump €1 billion (US$1.1bn) into promoting battery cell production by 2021— with the aim of German and European producers “supplying 30% of global demand” by 2030.

The head of the federal economic affairs and energy ministry, Peter Altmaier, also revealed a “new battery cell consortium” could be formed in Germany around the end of this year.

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JCI quits batteries with Power Solutions sale

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Cyrus Madon

Johnson Controls International (JCI) has announced a definitive agreement to sell its battery business Power Solutions to US and Canadian investment firms Brookfield Business Partners and CDPQ in a cash transaction valued at US$13.2 billion.

The deal ends months of feverish speculation about the future of Power Solutions.

New York and Toronto-listed Brookfield is the business services and industrials company of Brookfield Asset Management. Quebec-based CDPQ (Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec) is an institutional investment fund manager.

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Leclanché joins marine energy storage partnership

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Swiss battery manufacturer Leclanché has been selected to supply “customised marine energy storage” systems for Norway-based technology group Kongsberg.

Through this partnership, Leclanché will deliver “one of the largest single marine battery system orders to date” for nine vessels totalling 45 megawatt-hours of capacity.

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Hitachi starts up ‘hybrid BESS’ in Germany

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Hitachi storage project

Japanese technology group Hitachi has started up a demonstration energy storage system comprising two battery technologies in Germany.

Hitachi Chemicals has set up the 22.5 megawatt-hour (MWh) lithium-ion and sodium sulfur (NaS) system in Lower Saxony with Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (Nedo), Hitachi Power Solutions and battery developer NGK Insulators.

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Work starts on Mercedes’ Alabama EV battery plant

Mon, 10/15/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Daimler has broken ground for an electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in Alabama for its Mercedes-Benz subsidiary.

A ceremony marking the start of construction at Tuscaloosa, just seven miles from Mercedes existing vehicle production site, came just weeks after German auto firms indicated they could pull the plug on new investments in battery manufacturing in the US, if forced to pay increased tariffs under the Trump administration’s “national security” review.

The battery plant is part of a US$1 billion investment in the US that will cover two million square feet— twice the size of Mercedes’ nearby site. The US plant will form part of an eight-strong global battery production network including plants in Germany, China and Thailand.

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Renault to use EV batteries for ‘biggest stationary BESS’

Mon, 10/08/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Renault BESS

The Renault car group has unveiled plans to build “the biggest stationary energy storage system using electric vehicle batteries ever designed in Europe” by 2020.

Renault said the 70-megawatt/60 megawatt-hour system will be installed across three sites in France and Germany— at Renault plants in Douai and Cleon, and at a former coal-fired plant in North Rhine-Westphalia. 

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Merkel ‘sad’ at lack of battery cell production

Mon, 10/08/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

German chancellor Angela Merkel has pledged to “whip up” the development of a made-in-Europe battery cells industry— but she held out the possibility of cooperation with international partners.

Merkel, who studied physics, said it was “unbelievably sad… that we cannot produce battery cells in the land of the founding fathers of electrochemistry (or) even the whole of Europe”.

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BMZ steps up battery expansion

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
An artist's impression of the developments at Karlstein

The BMZ group has announced a €120 million (US$141.2m) investment to expand battery systems production at its Karlstein am Main headquarters in Bavaria.

The decision will yield a 3,000sq.m production area, 80 new workstations, and a 20m logistics centre with 12,000 pallet spaces.  “As early as 2019, the new building alone will create another 300 jobs at the Karlstein plant,” said BMZ CEO Sven Bauer.

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Berlin urges EU to relax state-aid rules for battery investment

Mon, 09/24/2018 - 11:52 -- John Shepherd
Angela Merkel: Photo: Bundesregierung/Kugler

Germany has started hush-hush talks with EU leaders aimed at relaxing state-aid rules so the government can pump cash into launching of a national battery cell production programme, BEST Battery Briefing has learned.

BBB understands Germany wants to set a faster pace of progress for Europe’s ‘Batteries Alliance’— with Berlin in the driving seat.

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