German battery systems manufacturer Akasol has just moved into its new headquarters in the southwest of Darmstadt. The move marks the start of series production of the first battery systems on the production lines installed at the Akasol Campus plant.
Until now, Akasol headquarters were located only a few kilometres further north in the German city of Langen. According to the company, the new headquarters were built in only 15 months. From mid-2021 onwards, Akasol will have a production capacity of 2.5 GWh in its new production facility in Darmstadt that Akasol refers to as its Gigafactory 1, which can be expanded to up to 5 GWh depending on business development. According to company boss Sven Schulz, this is “Europe’s most progressive, modern and largest serial-production facility for commercial-vehicle battery systems”.
In addition to the plant, the 20,000-square-metre-site also houses a technology and development centre, directly connected to a test and validation centre, as well as the head office itself for up to 300 employees. The special features of the site include a 700 kWp solar system on the roof of the production facility, which the company says covers a large part of the plant’s energy requirements, as well as 70 charging points in the company parking lot. Parallel to the move, production of the first battery systems for hybrid and fully electric vehicles has now begun.
In the USA in the state of Michigan, Akasol is currently building an identical plant, which the German company is calling Gigafactory 2. By 2023, annual capacity there is to be successively expanded from an initial 400 MWh to 2 GWh.
In the second half of 2020 at the Michigan plant, Akasol plans to start series production of the second generation of its AKASystem OEM PRC lithium-ion battery systems. Akasol says that the “real” start of operations will begin at the end of 2021 with the start of production of the third battery system generation called AKASystem AKM CYC. This battery system generation will into series production in Darmstadt about six months earlier.
Meanwhile, Akasol will continue production at its former headquarters in Langen where the company put a second series production line into operation in mid-March 2020. This has doubled the site’s maximum annual production capacity to up to 800 MWh.
Most recently, the German battery-maker revealed that it was able to increase its sales despite the global pandemic. The surge in activity also roots 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 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.
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