ABB to support Gotion High-Tech’s new battery factories

Chinese battery cell manufacturer and Volkswagen partner Gotion High-Tech is seeking support from industrial group ABB to construct battery factories in Europe and the USA with a high degree of automation.

Image: Gotion High-Tech

A memorandum of understanding signed by the two companies at the first Gotion battery factory in Göttingen, Germany, provides for developing a “master design plan” combining automation, electrification and digital technologies.

According to ABB, the aim is to “increase throughput with a higher level of automation, optimisation and emission control.” ABB would further provide standardised modular power distribution solutions that are scalable and replicable.

This is crucial since Gotion is currently significantly expanding its production capacities. A 50 GWh factory under construction in the US state of Illinois is relevant for the deal with ABB. The Chinese are also considering a 100 GWh factory in Morocco and, together with InoBat, a production facility in Slovakia, as reported.

Moreover, ABB also seems interested in Gotion’s batteries. The press statement mentions a joint project team completing a feasibility assessment to introduce ABB products and services into Gotion. Yet it also explores an R&D collaboration to “understand how battery cells, modules and packs from Gotion High-Tech could be supplied to ABB and its affiliates”. The company adds that it would explore the potential use of Gotion products for a wide range of industrial applications, including marine, traction, microgrids, high, medium and low voltage, and renewables.

Staffan Sodergard, Business Unit Manager, Battery Manufacturing, Process Industries, ABB, called the deal a “new milestone” for ABB in battery manufacturing. He added, “manufacturing of batteries en masse remained a “top priority to ensure that there is availability and consistent supply within the global market.”

“Our partnership with ABB will lead to a position where we can contribute towards the significantly high demand for electric vehicles in Europe and the US,” said Li Zhen, Chairman of Gotion. “We’re confident that ABB’s approaches are proven to scale up operations quickly while ensuring safety and environmental responsibility are addressed at every stage.”

It is also the next mighty partner for the Chinese company. Gotion had brought Siemens on board in September to develop its factories but did not limit this partnership to the European and North American markets. At the time, Siemens stated that the Chinese battery cell manufacturer was using its Xcelerator portfolio to digitalise its battery development and production to “implement smart factories”.

Gotion High-Tech is also a partner of Volkswagen, and the carmaker has a 26.5 per cent stake.


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