Mercedes-Benz is increasing its battery production in its factory in Kamenz, Germany, as it preps for the rollout of more fully electric vehicles.
Mercedes-Benz is investing in 9 factories in 7 locations in Europe, Asia, and North America, largely through fully owned subsidiary Accumotive. The company is investing $1 billion into its battery production network.
That sounds like a lot of money to a pauper like me, but I do think it would engender a lot more optimism about Mercedes-Benz if the company was investing $10 billion. In my opinion, this is not going to be a slow technology transition, and any companies trying to slow-walk it will be left in the dust.
This factory in Kamenz is were batteries for the Mercedes-Benz EQC are made. Further details include: “Producing this highly complex lithium-ion battery requires multiple production lines that are approximately 170 meters long, each with more than 30 production stations and with a high number of production steps. The battery systems consist of 384 battery cells and many other components. The battery cells are welded with a laser with a tolerance of 2µm using modern automation technology.”
“The Kamenz plant has two battery factories and a total production and logistics area of 80,000 square meters. The second battery factory, which opened in 2018, runs on state-of-the-art equipment and uses a wide range of Industry 4.0 technologies. It was also designed as a CO2-neutral factory right from the beginning and thus plays a pioneering role with regard to Mercedes-Benz AG’s sustainability goals: a combined heat and power plant and a 2-megawatt photovoltaic system combined with geothermal energy power the production plant. The entire building is designed according to the production flow and lines. Special assembly equipment ergonomically assists and makes it easier for employees to handle heavy parts. The plant uses a variety of Industry 4.0 technologies, such as digital control and production tracking. Among other things, this guarantees the complete traceability of every delivered battery and its components, including all its production data.”
That definitely sounds like a kick-ass factory. I’ve put it on my list for a place to visit next time I’m in the region. Another Mercedes-Benz battery factory even closer to my home in Wrocław — in Jawor, Poland — is starting production in 2020. This region of southwest Poland and southeast Germany certainly seems to be turning into a battery production epicenter. Wrocław is home of the largest EV battery factory in Europe, the LG Chem factory I wrote about two days ago.
Daimler doesn’t indicate the production capacity of the Kamenz plant in terms of MWh or GWh, only indicating that “annual production volume will soon exceed half a million battery systems for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and purely electric vehicles.” Naturally, the critical missing information here is the average energy storage capacity of a single battery. If you have more details on this factory, please pass them along.
Mercedes-Benz will have 5 fully electric vehicles on the market by the end of the year, and an additional 20 plug-in hybrids (which, as you may know, we’re not a big fan of). The EQC looks like a decent electric vehicle, but production capacity is still limited, which means sales/deliveries are very low.
Approximately 1,300 people are employed at the Kamenz battery factory.
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