The casing of a vehicle battery has been laid as the foundation stone for a massive new battery factory being built in Germany. Showing the importance of the €500 ($550) million factory to Germany’s electric car and renewable energy industries, German Chancellor Angela Merkel attended the ceremony at Daimler’s subsidiary, ACCUMOTIVE, in Kamenz.
ACCUMOTIVE’s second factory for lithium-ion batteries in the small town, about 25 miles (40km) northeast of Dresden, is scheduled to go into operation mid-2018.
The existing factory produces more than 80,000 batteries a year. The new plant will quadruple the production and logistics area to a total of around 80,000 square metres, and by the end of the decade is expected to employ more than 1,000 workers – more than double the number employed there today.
“With the second battery plant in Kamenz, we are giving the initial start for the development of the first premium eBattery factory,” said Markus Schäfer, a board member of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “The local production of batteries is an important success factor in our electric offensive and a crucial element in order to flexibly and efficiently serve the global demand for electric vehicles.”
Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said: “The automotive industry is facing a fundamental transformation and we see ourselves as the driving force behind this change. The battery factory in Kamenz is an important component in the implementation of our electric offensive. By 2022, we will have more than ten purely electric passenger cars in series. We also continue to drive forward the hybridization of our fleet.”
The company anticipates that electric vehicles will make up 15 to 25% of total sales by 2025.
In addition to traction batteries, ACCUMOTIVE will produce batteries for Mercedes-Benz energy storage units and 48-volt-systems. The 48-volt onboard power supply makes its debut in the new S-Class models and will be gradually introduced in other series.
Kamenz will also supply batteries for commercial e-vehicles, including Mercedes-Benz vans, Daimler trucks, the new Mercedes-Benz e-bus (which goes into production next year), and the new Urban eTruck.
The new battery factory has been designed to be CO2-neutral – with its energy coming from a combined heat and power plant and a photovoltaic plant in combination with stationary battery storage units.
• Mercedes-Benz Energy has signed a deal with Vivint Solar to introduce its home energy storage system to the US market. For Vivint Solar, which has already installed solar energy systems in more than 100,000 homes across the US, this is the first collaboration to integrate batteries with its offer. Boris von Bormann, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas, said: “The launch of our home battery system in Europe has been successful and we are thrilled to be working with Vivint Solar to bring a reliable and compelling solar plus storage offering to American homes.” Each energy storage system will consist of modular 2.5 kWh batteries that can be combined to create a system as large as 20 kWh.