Mercedes-Benz to start lithium-ion battery cells production in 'Electric First' investment in Germany

by John Shepherd
Untertürkheim's Hedelfingen plant annexe will produce battery systems for the Mercedes-EQ model EQS from this year. Photo: Daimler
Mercedes-Benz has announced plans for "small series production” of lithium-ion battery cells at its Untertürkheim plant in Germany, as part of a "three-digit million euros” package of investment.

The Daimler-owned car giant said the investment plan, agreed after "intensive negotiations” between company chiefs and workers’ leaders, would "transform” the site in Stuttgart to become the firm’s global powertrain production network, to be known as the ‘Mercedes-Benz Drive Systems Campus’.

Production of the cells is expected to start in 2023, as the site is geared up for an ‘Electric First’ future. A "dedicated battery safety laboratory” will also be established at the site.

A separate factory, in nearby Brühl, will produce batteries for plug-in hybrid vehicles from 2022.

'Important cornerstone'

Mercedes-Benz chief operating officer Markus Schäfer said: "A clear focus of our activities lies in research and process engineering of battery and cell technology, taking into account the entire value chain.”

Schäfer said the focus on Untertürkheim, creating a dedicated campus for electric drive technologies, would be "an important cornerstone” for the Mercedes-EQ range of electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid cars.

Untertürkheim already hosts facilities to build, research and test prototypes for the company’s electric drive system and cell technologies. But Mercedes-Benz said further investments are planned to expand the existing cell technology centre "to cover the entire value chain of battery technology”.

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