Mercedes-Benz Investing Over $1 Billion in Global EV Battery Production

Mercedes-Benz is investing $1.65 billion to expand its electric vehicle battery production.

As electric vehicle (EV) sales are projected to rise in the coming years, powering them is on the forefront of manufacturers’ minds. Mercedes-Benz is revving up its battery production with the recent announcement of a $1.65 billion investment to create a global battery production network.

The result will be nine factories in seven global locations. The company currently has two facilities in Kamenz, Germany, as well as one in Beijing (launched in 2019), and one in Tuscaloosa Ala., which opened in 2018. Plans include expanding the Kamenz facility and constructing new plants in Stuttgart and Sindelfingen, Germany. Construction has already begun on a new Jawor, Poland, site.

The company expects to have five battery EVs and 20 plug-in hybrid vehicles available by the end of 2020, with plans to have 10 EVs in production by 2025. To achieve the goal of having more than 50 percent of its passenger vehicle sales be in an electric category by 2030, the latest investment is necessary. But it also comes as no surprise considering the company’s longtime focus on EV battery research, technology and production.

Since 2012, Mercedes-Benz subsidiary Accumotive in Kamenz has produced drivetrain batteries for electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles. A second plant, which opened at the location in 2018 to produce 80kWh battery packs, is approaching the 500,000-output mark.

A $1.65 billion investment will help Mercedes-Benz create a global electric battery production network. (Image courtesy of Daimler AG.)

A $1.65 billion investment will help Mercedes-Benz create a global electric battery production network. (Image courtesy of Daimler AG.)

Kamenz will continue to play a vital role in the new investment.

“As a competence center within our global battery-production network, the Kamenz site with its broad product portfolio—plays a decisive role in the implementation of our ‘electric first’ offensive,” said Jörg Burzer, member of Mercedes-Benz AG’s production and supply chain management board. “With more than 10 fully electric EQ models and a large number of plug-in hybrid and hybrid vehicles—for which we produce the battery systems here in Kamenz and within our global network—we can flexibly and efficiently meet the worldwide demand for electric and hybrid vehicles and gradually increase the electrical share within our vehicle range.”

The second plant produces complex lithium-ion batteries, which means multiple, long production lines. The systems have 384 battery cells and multiple other components, and require laser welding within a 2µm tolerance. The CO2-neutral factory uses a photovoltaic system, as well as geothermal energy alongside heat and power plants for its production systems, and incorporates various Industry 4.0 technologies.

“Each new plant will benefit from the experience of the other plants,” Burzer said. “Our battery production network is well-prepared for the future of mobility.”

Interested in learning more about EVs? Check out The Many Types of EV Motors and New Device Enables Two-Way Electric Vehicle Charging.