Porsche looks to North America to build battery cell plant
Porsche CEO Oliver Blume has confirmed plans for a large-scale battery cell factory. But according to further statements from the Porsche board, the carmaker appears to favour North America over Germany as a location.
As the German publication Automobilwoche writes, Blume and his Porsche CFO Lutz Meschke are said to have substantiated the plans for a large-scale battery production, which had already been rumoured, during the conference call on the half-year figures. According to Meschke, Porsche is already “in advanced talks with strategic investors” and wants to make a decision by the end of this year. Around two to three billion euros are planned for the factory. It is not known whether these investors are purely financial backers or whether Porsche also wants to cooperate with technology or production partners from the battery sector.
Porsche is building its own battery factory near Reutlingen in Baden-Württemberg with its subsidiary Cellforce, in which it has since acquired a majority stake. The cells developed and manufactured there were actually only to be used in electric Porsche racing cars and a few high-performance road models. However, since the carmaker now sees greater potential in the cells with increased silicon content in the anode, production is to be expanded.
However, the plant capacity is limited and it was already previously decided that the small-scale production originally planned in the 100-megawatt range would be expanded, with talk of 1 to 1.3 GWh at the site. In June, Manager Magazin reported that an expansion to up to 20 GWh was planned.
Now, the statements by Blume and Meschke indicate that such a plant is unlikely to be built in Germany. They say that the decisive factor for the location is low energy costs, which speaks against Europe or Germany. “Even a difference of one cent makes up an enormous sum per year,” said Meschke. He emphasised the commitment to Germany as a location and the investment with Cellforce in Baden-Württemberg. “But in the end it has to be a positive calculation,” the Porsche CFO is quoted as saying.
Similar comments were made by Porsche CEO Blume, who in his dual role as VW Group CEO has the best information with PowerCo’s 90 GWh cell factory in Canada. “In North America, energy costs are significantly lower, there is also less bureaucracy, decisions are made more quickly,” Blume is reported to have said verbatim. Besides the USA, Canada is also considered a promising candidate.