The battery supply chain to support the electric car revolution and energy storage industry is slowly becoming stronger. Tesla has been leading new battery production in America with its Gigafactory and Panasonic, Samsung, and LG have been leading production in Asia, but Europe has been lagging behind.
Now a new massive li-ion battery gigafactory has been announced in Germany.
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Tesla has been calling its battery factory a “gigafactory” because it will have an annual production capacity of several gigawatt-hours (GWh) of energy storage.
The new facility announced by Terra E Holding GmbH today is deserving of the name with a planned capacity of 34 GWh at full production.
In comparison, Tesla plans for Gigafactory 1 in Nevada to have a capacity of 35 GWh (50 GWh of battery packs) in 2018 and a full capacity of 105 GWh (150 GWh of battery packs) in 2020.
While Terra E’s project is one of the rare new announced battery factories comparable in production capacity with Tesla’s, its timeline is much further down the road.
“Terra E Holding GmbH will choose one of five candidate sites in Germany or a neighboring country next month to build its 34 gigawatt-hour battery factory, Frankfurt-based Chief Executive Officer Holger Gritzka said in an interview. The former ThyssenKrupp AG manager has helped to assemble a consortium of 17 German companies and won government support for the project, which will break ground in the fourth quarter of 2019 and reach full capacity in 2028, he said.”
Gritzka also said that the company will at first focus on batteries for stationary storage applications, which have been increasingly popular in Germany over the last few years as the country’s renewable energy production is soaring.
Even though the timeline for the new project is unimpressive, the significant size is such that it should send a signal to companies invested in the battery supply chain.
Several companies have recently announced new battery factory projects of smaller sizes, like Daimler’s new $740 million battery factory in China for Mercedes-Benz’s EVs.
On the other hand, there are also larger projects in the work, but they don’t seem as concrete, like Thailand-based Energy Absolute’s 50 GWh battery factory project planned in Asia or a new project started by a bunch of former Tesla executives planning their own Gigafactory in Europe.
Tesla also plans to soon announce new battery factories by the end of the year. In a conference call with analysts yesterday, CEO Elon Musk hinted at new factories in the US, Europe, and Asia.
Things are certainly looking up for the battery supply chain. Current production for li-ion batteries is estimated at just over 100 GWh so any of those projects actually going forward could make a significant difference to the future output.