The foundation for the second ACCUMOTIVE (a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler) battery factory in Kamenz, Germany, has now been laid, according to new press release.
The under-construction €500 million lithium-ion battery pack production facility has reportedly been designed to be CO2-neutral and will be relying on electricity from a power + heat production facility located onsite and complemented by a solar photovoltaic (PV) + energy storage project.
As it stands, the facility is expected to begin operations sometime in the middle of next year (2018), as we reported previously.
“With the second battery plant in Kamenz, we are giving the initial start for the development of the first premium eBattery factory. The local production of batteries is an important success factor in our electric offensive and a crucial element in order to flexibly and efficiently serve the global demand for electric vehicles. This makes our production network very well positioned for future mobility,” commented Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain.
“The new production facility, which is situated approximately 50 kilometres from Dresden, is scheduled to go into operation in mid-2018,” Daimler adds in the release. “Covering an area of around 20 hectares, the site is in the direct vicinity of the existing battery factory. The new plant will quadruple the production and logistics area in Kamenz to a total of around 80,000 square meters. In the next few years ACCUMOTIVE will gradually increase the number of employees at the site. By the end of the decade, ACCUMOTIVE will have a total of over 1,000 employees and thus more than double the number compared to today’s level.”
The factory “will assemble lithium-ion battery packs for Mercedes and Maybach automobiles as well as energy storage batteries,” Steve Hanley reports on sister site CleanTechnica. “Daimler has entered into a partnership with Vivint Solar to market rooftop solar systems coupled to residential storage batteries.”
According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, major battery factories are under construction in Poland, Hungary, and Sweden. Some European companies are seeking to offset the influence of Asian battery manufacturers such as Panasonic, LG Chem, and Samsung SDI, but some of these factories (like the LG Chem one in Poland) are actually from Asian giants moving into Europe more.
There are also 8 factories under construction in China.
Nikolas Soulopoulos. an analyst for Bloomberg LP in London, says battery manufacturing capacity is expected to double by 2021 and total 278 gigawatt-hours of production capacity then compared to 103 gigawatt-hours today. That will lower battery costs by as much as 43% and make the cost of electric cars comparable to or lower than conventional cars.
In related news, as we reported last week Daimler has entered into a partnership with Vivint Solar in the US to help sell its Mercedes-Benz energy storage products there.