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Daimler expands global battery production network : Daimler is doubling the number of employees at its wholly owned subsidiary Accumotive as part of the expansion of the global battery production network, and is paving the way for the creation of a cross-divisional electromobility initiative. Accumotive, based in Kamenz, Germany, will increase its number of employees to approximately 1,000. “We are taking big steps in the direction of electromobility. At Accumotive we will double the amount of employees until the end of the year 2018. We will achieve this almost one year earlier than initially planned. We are thus heading for the start of production of the EQC in spring 2019,” says Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

German company Accumotive was founded in 2009, and currently produces lithium-ion batteries for Mercedes-Benz and Smart vehicles. A second battery factory is being built at the Kamenz site, involving an investment of €500m (US$571m). By 2022, Daimler will electrify the entire Mercedes-Benz portfolio, offering customers at least one electrified alternative in all segments. The company is planning to offer more than 130 electrified vehicle variants – more than 10 of which will be fully electric passenger cars. The first Mercedes-Benz under the OEM’s new EQ brand will be the EQC, due to launch in the market in mid-2019. Daimler is investing more than €1bn (US$1.1bn) in a global battery production network with a total of eight factories at six locations, on three continents. This includes Kamenz and Stuttgart-Untertürkheim (with two battery factories each) and Sindelfingen in Germany, Peking (China), Bangkok (Thailand) and Tuscaloosa (USA).

“With eight battery factories on three continents we are well represented in terms of electromobility in the powertrain production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars. Since 2012, we are producing batteries in Kamenz and have gained valuable knowledge. Our team is highly motivated on a daily basis and is coping with the increasing quantities while operating the new systems,” said Frank Deiß, head of production, Mercedes-Benz Cars. The second battery factory in Kamenz has been designed to be CO2 neutral. A power station and photovoltaic system will (in connection with fixed battery storage) provide the production facility with energy. The initial stages of pre-series production began in mid-2018, and the volume production of the EQC battery will follow in spring 2019. Daimler’s commercial vehicles are also relying on batteries from Saxony as part of portfolio electrification. The Vito and Sprinter vans will be equipped with drive batteries from Kamenz at their market launch in 2019, as will the current eCanter, the Fuso light truck from Daimler Trucks.

source : Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology

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Stevel Adler

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