In China, the US battery manufacturer Farasis is establishing a joint venture with the Geely automotive group for the research and development as well as production and sale of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and other applications.
Farasis is already a partner with Daimler and currently has two factories in China as well as further factory planned in Germany. With this joint venture, Geely Technologies and its subsidiaries, as well as Geely Commercial Vehicle Group, aim to meet at least 80 per cent of their battery needs.
According to the Chinese news site Gasgoo, the agreement stipulates that the new joint venture will involve a registered capital of 1 billion yuan ($155.577 million or approximately 127 million euros), 65% of which are subscribed by Geely Technology. The agreement was signed on 17 May.
Farasis says that the two companies already decided upon the strategic agreement back in December 2020, with the aim of establishing a joint venture with a combined annual lithium-ion battery manufacturing capacity of 120 GWh per year. Work on the first construction phase of the China plant with a capacity of 20 GWh is scheduled to begin this year.
The business scope of the joint venture appears to be very broad-ranging. According to the Chinese news site Gasgoo, the joint venture will undertake research and development, EV battery manufacturing and sales. This includes the lithium-ion battery and module system and module management system and charging systems, as well as other lithium-ion battery products. The joint venture also intends to research, develop, produce, and sell cathode & anode materials of lithium-ion batteries, electrolyte, and membrane separators.
Geely Technology will apparently play a major role in the joint ventures daily operations before acquiring the entire equity interest in the joint venture. In this phase, Farsis Energy is supposed to lead such businesses as technology R&D and market expansion. Gassgoo refers to “a person briefed on the matter,” reporting that Geely will assist the US battery supplier with the validation and the application of batteries for vehicles from both Geely Technology and Geely Commercial Vehicles Group.
The union between Farasis and Geely had already been hinted at in the context of Geely’s announcement in mid-March that it intends to build a 42 GWh battery factory in Ganzhou. At the time, Gasgoo reported that Geely Technology, the fledgling energy and aerospace division of Geely Holding Group, had reached an agreement with Farasis Energy in December to ramp up this same lithium-ion battery joint venture. Not only is Farasis cooperating with Daimler, but Geely also has a stake in Daimler. Now the plans of all three groups are further intertwined.
Back in 2018, we reported that Farasis Energy, which was founded in 2002, was already operating a research centre in Hayward as well as two factories in China. The Farasis factory in Ganzhou was joined by another facility in Zhenjiang, which has a plan is to extend its annual capacity of 20 GWh. In March this year, Farasis announced new battery cells which they say offer 25% more range. Farasis said that in the course of the rollout of the new cells it will set up so-called application engineering centres in Asia, Europe and the USA to support customers “in converting the 25% increase in energy density into electric range”.
According to Arcimoto, the US micro-mobility firm supplied by Farasis Energy, besides the two plants Farasis already owns and operates in China (in Ganzhou and Zhenjiang as mentioned above) there is a further plant in China in planning, and it seems the further factory planned in the joint venture with Geely will be in addition to this. Besides the above-mentioned plant planned for Germany, Farasis also has a US plant in planning. Arcimoto says that Farasis cells are produced using hydropower, wind, and solar energy.