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Daimler to follow Tesla with new €500m lithium-ion battery factory

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PV Magazine

The battery subsidiary of German carmaker Daimler will begin construction of a new €500 million (US$544 million) lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility in the third quarter of this year. The factory will produce batteries for electric and hybrid Mercedes-Benz and smart cars, along with stationary storage products for commercial and residential customers.

Daimler_battery_storage_Deutsche_ACCUmotive

Daimler offers stationary storage products along with supplying its own automotive brands with lithium ion batteries. Deutsche ACCUmotive

Daimler subsidiary Deutsche ACCUmotive will lead its battery storage activities, and it reports that Mercedes-Benz storage systems for residential customers can already be ordered and will “soon” be installed by sales and service partners.

Deutsche ACCUmotive is introducing both a 2.5 kWh and 5.9 kWh battery units to residential customers. The systems can be combined into a larger 20 kWh storage system.

The new Deutsche ACCUmotive factory will be located adjacent to a €100 million (US$109 million) lithium ion facility, the construction of which announced in 2014. The new facility will increase the battery factory floor space from 20,000 square meters to 60,000 square meters. The factory is to be located in the southeastern Germany state of Saxony.

“To get closer to fully electric driving, we keep investing big in the key component of emission-free vehicles: powerful batteries,” said Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz cars, in a statement. “We are now devoting another €500 million  to build a second battery factory in Germany.”

Deutsche ACCUmotive entered the stationary storage market last year, having announced the strategic move towards the end of 2014.

Groundbreaking on the new manufacturing facility is expected to take place in the northern hemisphere autumn, with full production scheduled for summer 2017. The company claims to be developing 29 MWh of industrial battery storage installations.

Source: PV Magazine. Reproduced with permission.

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  • john

    When a company commits to the expenditure of €500 million (US$544 million)
    This is not some throw away window dressing expenditure we are talking real money.
    Major companies do not spend this kind of money because it is fruitless, obviously they see the long term outcome get into Electric Vehicles is the message.
    Is it not a pity it has taken well over 100 years to come back to the original vehicles that were powered by batteries before ICE was introduced.
    Now it would appear that Electric Vehicles will once again become the best of class.

    • Pfitzy

      Agree totally. Moves like this will start to convince more people that this isn’t just a fad, and that if captains of industry can see which way the wind is blowing, they’ll start to build turbines to use it! 😉

      After all, the consumer market is where the political battle will be won or lost, not preaching to the converted.

  • Ian

    Awesome story, the momentum gathers. Any guesses how quickly the world will toggle from Ice vehicles to EV. So good to see a number of different countries developing lithium automotive batteries. It’s like the whack-a-mole arcade game. No sooner do the likes of the Koch brothers try to suppress EV’s in their country, the developmental lead pops up somewhere else.

    • Kraylin

      Sadly it will still take a very long time to switch totally to EV’s but this factory is great news. With currently projected sales of EV’s for 2020 still at single digit % market penetration I am guessing we are out to at least 2030ish before EV’s are the majority of sales. Then we have another 15-20years while the existing fleet of Millions and Millions of gas vehicles reach end of life and are taken off the road… So it is already 2045-2050 before gas vehicles are museum pieces and/or collectibles.

    • Pfitzy

      In addition to what Kraylin says, we need to consider infrastructure for EV as we currently have for oil burners today.

      Tesla have only a handful of supercharging stains between Sydney and Melbourne, for example.

      We have to ensure manufacturers aren’t using proprietary charging connections, or we will see Shell, BP, and Caltex replaced by the respective vehicle companies

      • neroden

        Well, most people will spend most of their time with their cars plugged in at home in their garages.

        • Pfitzy

          True, but people are going to want to drive other places where they can’t rely on their home power. Green charging stations will need to start doing their thing, and standards should be adopted.

  • nakedChimp

    Saxony is just east and not really anything south.
    Anyone knows how the supply chain looks like for this?
    It’s easily 400-500 km from the coast, not to mention the biggest ports are over in the north-west. Maybe they use the Elbe?
    Or they got a lot of money to install some industry there in the hope it will last.

    Really wondering what the German press makes of this.. esp the ARD – governments speaker cone – as they usually were dismissive of EVs.