06 Feb 2019, 13:54
Benjamin Wehrmann

Chinese battery producer plans larger capacity of German cell factory


The battery cell factory planned to be built in Germany by Chinese manufacturer CATL will have a much greater capacity than initially planned, Lukas Bay and Kathrin Witsch write in the Handelsblatt. “We want to start with 14 gigawatt hours (GWh) as a first step and achieve a three-digit GWh figure by 2026 the latest,” they quote CATL Europe head Matthias Zentgraf as saying at an industry event in Bochum. This would make the German cell factory bigger than the Gigafactory by US e-car pioneer Tesla, the authors write. According to the article, the Chinese company expects the EU’s transport sector emissions limits for 2030 to drastically increase demand for e-cars and battery cells on the continent. According to CATL manager Zentgraf, companies in Germany “did not dare” to invest adequately in battery cell production, which is why the first factory in the country will be Chinese-owned.

Germany’s economy and energy minister Peter Altmaier has repeatedly said that Europe needs to become self-reliant in battery cell production, which is seen as key component for the automotive industry’s future. He promised one billion euros in subsidies for potential investors. A group of German companies announced in early February that they are planning to establish a battery cell production site in western Germany.

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