JT Energy Systems will be taking over the former Solarworld plant in Freiberg, Germany. The company was founded by Jungheinrich and Triathlon Holding at the beginning of 2019 and aims to create “the largest European production centre for batteries and charging systems in intralogistics”.
The battery systems and chargers are to be assembled in Freiberg, where they will then be used in, for example, electric forklifts or electric lift trucks. The modules for the venture will come from Glauchau in Saxony, about an hour’s drive away. JT Energy Systems plans to set up a highly automated module production facility there.
The operational start for the over 42,000 sqm Freiberg plant is already planned for the first quarter of 2020. Around 200 jobs will be created in the short term. “With the acquisition of the Freiberg plant, we are gaining both the production capacity necessary and an excellent site which equips us for further expansion of our lithium-ion battery and charger production,” say the managing directors of JT Energy Systems GmbH, Reinhild Kühne and Martin Hartmann in a press release.
The forklift manufacturer Jungheinrich and Triathlon Holding had founded the joint venture in Glauchau in February with the aim of producing and reconditioning lithium-ion battery systems. “The demand for electric material handling equipment as well as other industrial applications for lithium-ion batteries and charging systems is growing enormously worldwide,” said Hans-Georg Frey, Chairman of the Board of Management of Jungheinrich AG, on the occasion of the company’s foundation.
With the takeover of the Solarworld plant, JT Energy Systems is reacting to the increasing demand for lithium-ion battery systems. So far, lead-acid batteries have mainly been used in forklifts and lift trucks, but lithium-ion technology is superior to them in terms of charging times, energy efficiency and service life.
Jungheinrich’s competitor Kion is now also relying on lithium-ion batteries. The forklift manufacturer wants to set up its own factory for the production of lithium-ion batteries in Germany and founded a joint venture with the battery manufacturer BMZ Group in July.