A decision on the establishment of industrial battery cell production in Germany will be made this year, according to the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy. Talks between the federal government and companies are already underway.
According to a report by Energate, this was stated in an answer given by the Ministry of Economic Affairs to an inquiry by the FDP parliamentary group in the Bundestag. “The federal government expects that an industrial solution will be formed within the framework of a consortium this year within the framework of initiatives for battery research and battery cell production,” says the ministry’s statement. Subsequently, the consortium will present a timetable for the implementation of battery cell production in Germany. It looks like it is officially no longer a question of whether, but of when and where battery manufacturing will be set up in the European nation.
Professor Günther Schuh, in charge of the creation of the StreetScooter and the e.GO, is one of the potential investors and influential blacksmiths of a consortium. In an interview with Tagesspiegel Background he confirms and specifies the plans for a battery cell factory in North Rhine-Westphalia. According to Schuh, the region’s chances are good in terms of competence and the necessary local partners. “If politics were now to compensate for our disadvantages in terms of location and size compared to the established Asian manufacturers with a certain amount of support, we could set up a promising production facility.” In contrast to Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier who wanted to create jobs in the lignite regions in order to cope with structural changes, Schuh advocates the use of existing industrial locations: “This is faster and costs less. My favorite are the Ford plants in Cologne-Niehl. The whole infrastructure is already there”. The professor from Aachen also knows the location well because the StreetScooter XL is produced at the assembly line there. In a report of the Handelsblatt a few days ago there was also talk of Euskirchen as a possible location.