Six consortia have so far submitted applications for funding to set up battery cell production in Germany. These include prominent names such as BASF, VW, PSA, BMW and Northvolt. Meanwhile e.Go-Mobile CEO Günther Schuh is leaving the consortium that wants to bring a cell factory to Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia region.
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This was reported by German media sources with reference to a spokesman of the ministry. Companies and consortia can still submit their project ideas until Friday. Then the application deadline ends.
Last November, Economics Minister Peter Altmaier promised one billion euros for the construction of a battery cell production facility. This was followed last month by a call for proposals. According to the BMWi, the aim of the call is to forge an alliance with other European countries to produce battery cells of the latest generations. “We need competitive, innovative and environmentally friendly battery cell production in Germany and Europe. Our own know-how in this part of the value chain is crucial for the future market success of our companies. That is why we will support the entrepreneurial initiatives,” says Economics Minister Peter Altmaier. Only recently, the French government also pledged to contribute 700 million euros.
Peter Altmaier wants to supply around 30 percent of the worldwide demand for battery cells from German and European production by 2030. But what does that actually mean in factories? An example calculation for the vision of the Federal Minister of Economics was prepared previously.
Meanwhile e.Go-Mobile boss Günther Schuh is leaving the consortium that wants to bring a German cell factory to North Rhine-Westphalia. “We had hoped that the advance announcements of various partners would be followed by action. But unfortunately it has so far remained with non-binding commitments”, Schuh told the “Handelsblatt”. However, the BMZ Group explained that, together with StreetScooter and TerraE, they would still stick to the plan and submit an application for funding.
250 million is needed to set up the production in order to realise a production volume of one gigawatt in a first step. In three steps, production is to be increased to eight gigawatts over several years with a total investment volume of 1.2 billion euros. BMZ had already pledged a larger sum. StreetScooter and e.GO Mobile also wanted to contribute hundreds of millions of euros. However, Günther Schuh explained to the “Handelsblatt” that the company would continue to support the project if strong partners could still be found.
Meanwhile, there is also news from BASF. The chemical company is considering the construction of a new production facility for lithium cathodes at the Schwarzheide site in Lusatia. This would be an investment in the three-digit million range and thus the second production plant for battery materials after the plant in Finland. However, a final decision has not yet been made.
Update 16.03.2019: Varta has also applied for funding from the Federal Ministry of Economics for the mass production of battery cells for electric cars. The application deadline expired on Friday. The official announcement of the victorious consortia is likely to take some time: The project outlines are now being examined by the Ministry of Economics, which could take a few weeks, as a spokesperson told reporters.