Autocar Professional reports that Daimler invests 500 million euros in building global production hub for lithium batteries. I guess it is the same Mercedes lithium battery factory announced earlier and rebranded for the occasion after German Bundesrat decision to ban sales of a new fuel-burning cars from 2030 in Germany. 500 Million euros seems to be a very small token for "the global production hub" compared to Tesla's and Panasonic $5 Billion investment in Gigafactory and other many billions of dollars invested by Lithium Megafactories in China. But it really looks like I can stop being cynical here - now we are moving to the very crucial stage from just talking and to the walking towards the goal of all cars being electric.
Who in their right mind will buy any DIEsel car anymore? Whom are you going to sell it after even 3 years, when all cities will start to ban diesel cars at least from the city centers? I have written extensively about this Electric rEVolution and now it is coming on the streets literally next to you. Cheap lithium batteries change everything for transportation and energy industries and we will be witnessing the disruption of $4 Trillion and $12 Trillion industries respectively. Lithium is the magic metal at the very heart of this Energy rEVolution and all these technological developments will be done on the base of the secure supply for this critical metal. Major players are already shifting figures on the global geopolitical chessboard.
"For our German friends, I would like to share the article by Michael Adams from Stock Telegraph about International Lithium. Please carefully read my legal disclaimer and never make any investment decisions without consulting with you preferred qualified financial adviser. When you go to the original you have to click on German flag to read the article and Michael Adams' disclaimers. Below you can find the link to our latest article in English as well. Read more."
International Lithium and Ganfeng: Major Catalyst For Electric rEVolution And Security Of Lithium Supply.
"We have discussed before the fast changing geopolitical landscape in the world and why New Energy Plan in China can change the balance in our world's economic system just in a few very short years. For more than 100 years oil was our only major source of energy powering the economic growth. Oil means power and power means oil - this sentence can determine the politics of all 20th century. But not anymore. We are just at the tipping point of the major tectonic shift from the centralized energy systems to the distributed electricity generation and its consumption when we want it. Electricity is the most efficient form of energy known to us. Now, thanks to "The Learning Curve", we can produce it very cheap with solar and wind and we can store it very efficiently using lithium batteries. Cheap lithium batteries change everything here. We are in the catalyst stage of moving from 2 to 7000. 2 is the number of batteries in your farther's first remote control, 7000 is the number of lithium batteries in Tesla Model S. Read more."
Lithium Race: Which Will Be The First Country To Ban Fuel-Burning Cars: Norway, Netherlands, Germany, India or China?
"Dr. Joe Romm provides us with more information on the recent decision of German Bundesrat to ban fuel-burning cars. This tipping point for electric cars to become the fast growing mass market is the result of the technological advance called "The Learning Curve" when doubling of production brings on average 26% in cost reduction. It is true for the price of Solar PV, it is even faster for the chip makers and for Lithium Batteries Bloomberg reports about 14-19% cost reduction every year.
Now we are in the fast lane approaching this transition with first electric cars priced below $40k and with a range of over 200 miles coming to the market: GM Bolt and Tesla Model 3. BMW i3 with the new larger battery, Renault Zoe with 400 km range and Nissan Leaf with upgraded battery are driving the sales in Europe and China stands on its own with 25 companies making 51 models of electric cars. Read more."
Daimler has started the construction phase for a second battery factory at its subsidiary Accumotive’s site in Kamenz, Germany, consolidating its move towards electromobility.
With an investment of about 500 million euros (Rs 3,640 crore), the site in Kamenz will be one of the biggest and battery factories in Europe. For the official groundbreaking, Prof Dr Thomas Weber (member of the board of management of Daimler AG, Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development), Markus Schäfer (member of the divisional board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain Management) and Frank Blome (CEO Deutsche Accumotive GmbH & Co KG) met with Stanislaw Tillich (minister president of the Free State of Saxony and president of the German Bundesrat) and other representatives from politics and economy.
Commenting on the occasion, Weber said: “By 2025, our passenger car product portfolio will contain more than ten fully electric vehicles. At the same time, we are continuously pushing our plug-in-hybrid offensive and the introduction of 48-volt-systems. Highly efficient battery systems are an important aspect of our strategy. They are an integral part of the vehicle architecture and not a ready-made product. The development, production and integration of those complex systems into our vehicles is one of our core competences.”
The new production facility is planned to start operations in the middle of 2018. The area of about 20 hectares is located in immediate proximity of the existing battery factory in Kamenz, about 50 km from Dresden. With the construction of the second facility, the production and logistics area will be quadrupled to about 80,000 sq m. Accumotive will gradually increase the number of employees in the coming years. The workforce will double by the end of this decade.
“Already in 2012, we started the battery production for vehicles of the brands Mercedes-Benz and smart in Kamenz. For about a year now, we have additionally been producing stationary energy storages. Thanks to the know-how and motivation of our employees we have qualified for a further development step, becoming the competence center for worldwide battery production. In our new factory in Kamenz, we pursue a holistic approach starting sustainability already in our production processes,” said Blome, who will be responsible for the global battery production compound.
The new plant will be constructed as a CO2-neutral factory. Production facilities will be powered by a cogeneration unit and a photovoltaic system combined with stationary energy storage systems. Solar modules with the surface of two football fields will be installed on the rooftop of the new production building. This equals a capacity of 2 MW. The new battery factory will also be benchmark for Industry 4.0 with most modern facilities and technologies.
Mercedes EQ at Paris
Mercedes-Benz also showcased its new product brand for electric mobility, EQ, at the recently concluded Paris Motor Show. Series production of the EQ with a range of up to 500 km will start within this decade in the SUV segment. A model offensive will follow subsequently, complementing the portfolio of Mercedes-Benz cars with electrified models. Accumotive will deliver the batteries for the first EQ production model.
Minister President Tillich emphasised: “The investment is a strong sign of trust in the Saxon location here in the Upper Lausatia. This brings us a great deal closer to our goal of getting the traditional Saxon automotive industry ready for the era of electromobility. Electromobility or stationary energy storage – both segments have a great potential for the future.” He also referred to the already existing competence in the Free State, since the battery research alliance of the Fraunhofer society contains four institutes from Saxony.”
Future ‘green’ investments
Daimler is investing an overall amount of one billion euros into the global production of battery systems. “We are building a global production compound for lithium-ion batteries. Kamenz will become the competence center of this compound. With the new battery factory, the flexible and efficient production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars deepens crucial know-how for the production of promising future technologies. This also strengthens our global competitiveness and puts us in a very good position concerning future mobility,” said Schäfer.
In the future, Kamenz will produce lithium-ion batteries for all electrified vehicles of Mercedes-Benz and smart – including plug-in hybrids as well as fully electric vehicles. On top of that, Kamenz will produce batteries for stationary Mercedes-Benz energy storage units as well as 48-volt-systems. The 48-volt-system will gradually be integrated into different model ranges."