Akasol orders machines for US battery factory from Manz
German battery systems manufacturer Akasol has now placed the follow-up order for production equipment for its planned battery factory in the USA with the mechanical engineering company Manz. The “Gigafactory 2” as Akasol calls it is set to open in late 2021.
Akasol had already started constructing its first factory in North America in Hazel Park, near Detroit, Michigan, on a 5,000 sqm area in the first half of this year. Akasol wants to successively expand capacity from an initial 400 MWh to a total annual capacity of around two GWh by 2023. While the current generation of lithium-ion battery systems of type AKASystem OEM PRC will now go into series production in the second half of the year, the company sets the official start of production in 2021, then making third-gen batteries. Assuming a three-shift operation five days a week, Aksaol expects the factory to produce 38,000 modules per year.
The project in the US bases on a similar factory that is under construction at the company’s headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany. The so-called Gigafcatory 1 will have a total capacity of up to 5 GWh, according to Akasol. Both the plant in Europe and North America will use almost identical production equipment from the start of 2022. Akasol had signed a corresponding supply agreement with Manz worth 20 million euros already in February as reported.
The Darmstadt plant will have a total capacity of 5 GWh and prepares the ground for further expansion in the US as well. Akasol will start making third-gen batteries at Hazel Park about six months after production kicks-off in Germany.
The surge in activity is necessary for Akasol to deliver the quantities agreed with a series customer in a follow-up order Akasol received in September 2019 from an unnamed commercial vehicle customer. The order is expected to be “in the high three-digit million euro range”, and the client is likely Volvo. Akasol has yet to confirm this however and in its press release speaks of a “long-term supply contracts with a global commercial-vehicle manufacturer that will outfit its US brands and vehicle types” with Akasol batteries. The battery systems are intended for use in commercial vehicles and buses manufactured in North America, says Akasol.