The plans for the first German battery cell factory are taking more definitive shape. Driven by Professor Günther Schuh from Aachen, who is behind e.Go Mobile, several companies have joined the cause, including StreetScooter and the BMZ Group, which had taken over the battery cell consortium TerraE, as reported.
The consortium had planned to erect what could become Germany’s first battery cell production in North Rhine-Westphalia, however, the final decision has not yet been struck. There are several locations currently being considered.
For example, talks are being held with Ford to build the battery cell production facility on their factory site in Cologne-Niehl. Moreover, areas of former open-cast lignite mines are just as conceivable as the city of Euskirchen. There are also early talks with VW about a possible participation. Bosch could also come on board as a supplier of production technology, thus balancing their categoric ‘no’ on setting up a battery cell production themselves.
Subsidies of 250 million euros are needed to set up the production facility, in order to realise a production volume of one gigawatt as a first step. On stage three, production is to be increased over several years to a total of eight gigawatts, costing an investment volume of 1.2 billion euros. The report also referenced the Federal Ministry of Economics stating that the interest in setting up a battery cell production facility after the German industry’s initial hesitation is now great. It is likely that in the end, even two or more consortia could be willing to start production. In the first quarter of 2019, Federal Minister of Economics Altmaier intends to make the consortia official.
Germany could thus join the EU’s call for the establishment of battery cell production facilities on the continent. Here lastly players such as Northvolt of Sweden or Saft of France, that set up a cooperation with Siemens, Manz and Solvay were reportedly moving ahead and want to develop (solid-state) batteries with EU funding.
handelsblatt.com (original source in German)
Additional reporting by Nora Manthey.