Daimler is among one of the few major automakers with aggressive all-electric vehicle plans. The German automaker recently announced acceleration of electric car plans by 3 years and that they will spend $11 billion on 10 models by 2022.
They are backing this up with a new battery factory, which they officially unveiled today.
The German automaker produces its own battery packs through its ACCUmotive subsidiary and last year, they announced an important €500 million investment in a new battery factory in Kamenz, Germany.
The inauguration was a big deal today attended by Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel and Stanislaw Tillich (Minister President of Saxony), who, together with Dieter Zetsche (Chairman of the Board of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars), Markus Schäfer (Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain), Frank Deiss (Head of Powertrain Production and Site Manager Mercedes-Benz Plant Untertürkheim) and Frank Blome (Managing Director Deutsche Accumotive GmbH & Co. KG), laid the casing of a vehicle battery as the foundation stone.
They released a few pictures:
They didn’t confirm the capacity of the plant, but it is expected to be in the gigawatt-hour range and it will employ over 1,000 workers.
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said about the new factory:
“The automotive industry is facing a fundamental transformation and we see ourselves as the driving force behind this change. The battery factory in Kamenz is an important component in the implementation of our electric offensive. By 2022, we will have more than ten purely electric passenger cars in series. We also continue to drive forward the hybridization of our fleet. Under the EQ brand, we are creating a holistic ecosystem for e-mobility.”
It will officially go into operation in mid-2018 just in time for Mercedes’ first all-electric vehicle built from the ground up, Mercedes’ new ‘EQ’ SUV.
Daimler also has several other electric vehicle programs, like it’s all-electric Urban eTruck and it is currently building 1,500 all-electric Mercedes-Benz vans for Germany’s largest independent logistic firm.
The German automaker is not only counting on its own subsidiary for battery supply. They also partnered with Korea-based battery manufacturer SK Innovation, which recently announced a doubling of its battery production for electric vehicles to 4GWh/year to support demand from Mercedes and others.