Germany-based battery manufacturer Akasol is to build its first North American production plant in the Metro Detroit area of Michigan.
The company said the move is in response to “specific demand” for its lithium-ion battery systems for commercial vehicles— and is backed by a business development grant for an undisclosed sum from the state of Michigan.
Initial production in Michigan is set to start in 2020. Akasol said the facility would have “a similar capacity” to the company’s current series production site in Langen, Germany, which has an annual production capacity of up to 300MWh but which will be expanded to 800MWh by 2020.
By 2021, Akasol said it expects production in Michigan to have increased to 400MWh in a three-shift operation.
Operations in Michigan will create more than 200 jobs in the next five years and the facility will focus on the second generation AKASystem OEM PRC battery system, “with high energy density battery systems following soon after”.
Roy Schulde, president of Akasol’s US subsidiary, said: “The high-performance lithium-ion battery systems manufactured at the site will be developed, tested and produced by highly-qualified engineers and be used on projects across the transportation sector, which is seeing ever-increasing electrification solutions entering the market.
Akasol CEO Sven Schulz (pictured) said the Michigan development was “a core part of our international growth plans” and would accelerate business development activities with new and existing North American customers.
Akasol— incorporated just a decade ago— successfully completed an initial public offering (IPO) in 2018.