The German battery systems manufacturer Akasol has commissioned the mechanical engineering company Manz to supply production equipment for its new location in Darmstadt, Germany. The order also includes several options – including for its US location – and could amount to a double-digit million euro figure.
In addition to equipping the new plant in Darmstadt (Akasol itself refers to its ‘Gigafactory 1’ in the press release), the entire order that may have a total volume up to 20 million, also includes production lines for Akasol’s new US location in Hazel Park, Michigan. The invitation to tender for additional production lines for the automated production of battery systems – regardless of the order placed with Manz – is currently in its final phase.
Akasol’s ‘Gigafactory 1’, which is being built at the company’s headquarters in southwest Darmstadt, will have a total capacity of up to 5 GWh, according to the company. This will form the basis for the further expansion of production capacity in North America, where Akasol plans to start operating ‘Gigafactory 2’ with almost identical production equipment from the start of 2022. “With a total capacity of up to 5 GWh in Darmstadt, Akasol is well-positioned to deliver the quantities agreed with our series customer within the next few years”, says Akasol CEO Sven Schulz. In September 2019, Akasol received a follow-up order from an existing commercial vehicle customer that is expected to be “in the high three-digit million euro range”. The customer is likely to be Volvo.
The expansion of production capacities in Germany and the US production plans had brought Akasol into the red in the third quarter of 2019 despite increasing sales. The figures for the full year are not yet available. In the press release regarding the order with Manz, Schulz states that he intends to continue to invest. In addition to setting up new production capacities, Akasol plans to build a new headquarters with an administration building and a test and validation centre in addition to ‘Gigafactory 1’ in Darmstadt. Up to 500 jobs will be created there.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany