Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, broke ground on its second battery plant in Kamenz, Germany today. The new plant signals an effort to increase the efficiency of battery production as Mercedes-Benz prepares to introduce a slew of EVs over the next several years.
Scheduled to begin operation in mid-2018, the plant will quadruple the production and logistics area in Kamenz to a total of 80,000 square meters. Daimler is investing 500 million euros in this new plant, or roughly $560 million at today’s exchange rates, with a total investment of around one billion euros in global battery system production.
The investment doesn’t quite rival Tesla’s $5 billion Gigafactory venture, as Bloomberg points out, but Daimler’s plant is set to become one of the biggest battery factories in the world. Although Daimler didn’t give specifics on capacity, the plant will help Mercedes achieve its goal of introducing more than 10 new electric passengers cars by 2022. New electric vehicles will be grouped together under the EQ line, with the first model to enter production at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen at the end of the decade. Others will be produced in Sindelfingen.
“The local production of batteries is an important success factor in our electric offensive and a crucial element in order to flexibly and efficiently serve the global demand for electric vehicles,” said Markus Schäfer, member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain, in a statement. “This makes our production network very well positioned for future mobility.”
By 2025, Mercedes-Benz wants EVs to make up between 15 and 25 percent of its total unit sales.