Tuesday 2 December 2014

. . . As Daimler boosts Li-ion battery output

Daimler looks to be taking electric vehicles seriously as it plans to complete a new building in 2015 to manufacture lithium-ion batteries for hybrid vehicles.

Daimler AG is investing €100 million in its Deutsche ACCUmotive subsidiary in the coming years to expand production capacities for lithium-ion batteries.

Currently, a new building to be completed by mid-2015 is under construction in the Saxon city of Kamenz.

Deutsche ACCUmotive GmbH was founded in 2009 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler AG. It develops and sells highly complex drive batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles based on lithium-ion technology.

The company’s headquarters, located in Nabern in the Stuttgart area, also houses R&D. Production takes place in Kamenz. The subsidiary employs over 250 employees – about 180 in Kamenz and approximately 80 in Nabern, as for far Deutsche has delivered more than 50,000 lithium-Ion batteries.

“We are looking forward to continuous growth in the demand for Deutsche ACCUmotive batteries”, said Frank Blome, managing director of Deutsche ACCUmotive, during the topping out ceremony for the new production hall on Monday.

On completion of the third construction phase Deutsche ACCUmotive will have nearly 20,000 m² of production and logistics space at its disposal - or four times the area since the start of production in the year 2011.

Deutsche ACCUmotive will produce the lithium-ion batteries for the upcoming electric versions of the smart fortwo and forfour from 2016 as well as for future hybrid models of Mercedes-Benz.

According to Blome “The development and production of our lithium-ion batteries is competitive in every respect. We are in the black at Deutsche ACCUmotive.”

This suggests both Kamenz and the Nabern development location will continue to play a key role in high-performance batteries for alternative drives – from hybrid models to the pure electric vehicle – as a high-tech location in the Daimler Group.

                                       Industrial applications

Additional growth opportunities outside the automotive industry also arise for Deutsche ACCUmotive through the entry into the business with stationary applications, where the vehicle batteries serve as the base technology for the development of stationary energy storage units.

The system is scalable and as such allows lithium-ion batteries to be used in large industry to stabilise networks and smooth peak loads (peak shaving) for energy producers as well as private households, for example, in conjunction with photo-voltaic installations.

Deutsche ACCUmotive claims it has already profited from economies of scales through volume production of vehicle batteries and score with the high safety standards from the automotive industry. The company is certified according to ISO TS 16949.

“We have already concluded our first customer contracts. With our systems we can make an important contribution to the energy turnaround”, claimed Blome.

At the moment Deutsche ACCUmotive’s product range includes three lithium-ion battery systems for different models. This includes the current smart fortwo electric drive and the Mercedes-Benz Models S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, S 400 HYBRID, E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, E 400 HYBRID and C 300 BlueTEC HYBRID. But other  systems are under development.

Systematic hybridization is an important part of its powertrain strategy, claims Daimler. In 2014 so far, Mercedes-Benz has sold more hybrid-driven vehicles than all other German manufacturers combined.

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