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Daimler investing ~€100M in Deutsche ACCUmotive to expand lithium-ion battery system production; stationary storage

Daimler AG is expanding its production capacities for lithium-ion battery systems with investments of around €100 million (US$125 million) in its Deutsche ACCUmotive subsidiary in coming years. Currently, a new building to be completed by mid-2015 is under construction in Kamenz, Germany. With the completion of the third construction phase Deutsche ACCUmotive will have nearly 20,000 m² of production and logistics space at its disposal—four times the area since the start of production in the year 2011.

Deutsche ACCUmotive’s product range currently includes three lithium-ion battery systems for different models. This includes the current smart fortwo electric drive and the Mercedes-Benz Models S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, S 400 HYBRID, E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, E 400 HYBRID and C 300 BlueTEC HYBRID. The company has delivered more than 50,000 lithium-ion battery systems to date. Earlier this month, Daimler said it would cease production of Li-ion battery cells at its LiTec subsidiary, with the intention of sourcing cells for the packs from outside the company. (Earlier post.)

Deutsche ACCUmotive was founded in 2009 for the development and production of lithium-ion battery systems for vehicles; the company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler AG. The research and development activities of Deutsche ACCUmotive are located in Nabern in the Stuttgart area and the production takes place in the Saxon city of Kamenz. Series production started in the year 2011.

We are looking forward to continuous growth in the demand for Deutsche ACCUmotive batteries. Deutsche ACCUmotive will be producing the lithium-ion batteries for the upcoming electric versions of the smart fortwo and forfour from 2016 as well as for future hybrid models of Mercedes-Benz. The development and production of our lithium-ion batteries is competitive in every respect. We are in the black at Deutsche ACCUmotive

—Frank Blome, Managing Director of Deutsche ACCUmotive

Systematic hybridization is a fixed element of Daimler’s powertrain strategy. In the current year, Mercedes-Benz has sold more hybrid-driven vehicles than all other German manufacturers combined, the company said.

Additional growth opportunities outside the automotive industry also arise for Deutsche ACCUmotive through the entry into the business with stationary applications, where the vehicle batteries serve as the technological foundation for the development of stationary energy storage units.

The scalability of the storage systems enables the use of the lithium-ion batteries for network stabilization and smoothing of peak loads (peak shaving) for energy producers as well as private households, for example, in conjunction with photo-voltaic installations.

Blome said the company has already completed its first customer contracts.


Patrick Free

Is that Daimler GigaFactory rising up ? I don't believe so. The fact that just like the other German Vendor, Mercedes multiplies the non-Sense PHEVs working the "Electric Turbo" mode, with meaningless "all electric mode", all set on ridiculous #10KWH batteries and # 100HP electric motor, proves to me that they are nowhere closed to have a decent battery technology. Just on the way to be left far behind. by chance they still have a limited agreement with Tesla, although they sold their shares.... I have been hoping that would allow them to be 1st to market a "GOOD PHEV SUV" means > 30KWH battery and > 200 HP to offer a decent and conveniant "all electric mode". But they proved me wrong and so far only announced the same 10KWH non-sense as the other Germans.
Not having the battery technology, is the reason why, I think.


@Patrick Free:
And I think the reason that they are offering ~10kwh packs is that that is what currently makes economic sense, it covers commutes for most people in most countries and it conforms to European and Chinese regulations as a ZEV city car, which specifies 50km on the NEDC cycle.

I don't know why you should imagine that they can't get the batteries, as they can source from anywhere, including of course the 18650 Panasonic cells that Tesla uses, except that no one except Tesla thinks that that is the way to build a car battery.

Since Tesla lost $9,600 for ever car it delivered in the 3rd quarter, even after loads of money from ZEV credits and on a car with an average retail price of $100k, it can't be excluded that the production engineers at every other car company bar Tesla might have a point.


With the current high cost, slow charging rage and poor energy density of automotive bateries, it's not surpising that many car manufacturers like Toyota, Mercedes etc use small packs for their early limited PHEVs.

Whenever batteries energy density and charging rates are multiplied by 2X to 4X and the price per kWh is reduced by 2X to 4X, PHEV makers like Toyota and Mercedes will use larger capacity packs to increase e-range by 2X to 4X.

That may not happen before 2020 or so.


BMW though have just announced that they are not only going to build PHEV versions of all their core models, but:

'The drive systems used in these future hybrid systems will offer combined outputs in excess of 500 kW. Also, the capacity of the lithium-ion batteries – up to 20 kilowatt hours – will be greatly in excess of current hybrid systems . Coupled with an increased all-electric driving range of up to 100 kilometres (62 miles), this will make it possible to operate in locally emission-free pure-electric mode on virtually all day-to-day trips'

Another German manufacturer who: 'Just can't get the batteries' it seems! ;-)

Patrick Free

@ Davemart : I've been looking for a good PHEV SUV for 3 years already, stretching my budget from €60K to €75K and now considering €80K by end of 2015.... 10KWH battery would require 2 x full charges per day to do my typical # 50M local commutes, wearing a 3K cycles battery in 5 to 6 years only, making the resale value of such car null. Hence why I call 10KWH PHEVs non-senses. And I look forward to see their selling numbers over decent periods, wishing them good luck.
The new BMW Power eDrive drive train is another dead end in my view. At least its 20KWH battery would allow me to charge only 1 time per day so that battery may last 10 years, plus they added 2 x electric motors >200HP each making a real convenient "all electric mode" for the 1st time, so it's a huge improvement ! Except it's "non-optimal", starting from a huge ICE drivetrain, pulling almost nothing (only downsizing the ICE to 4 cyl turbo), so these cars will cost a fortune (I bet > €130K !), will weigh 2.5 Tons, and will require a lot of maintenance due to far too much complexity. I won't buy that either, sorry.
An Optimum PHEV design is not that, for me. It must move to a Tesla like "all electric Drive train", pulling the huge central ICE, the huge central gearbox, the huge central transmission, eventually adding a little non-tracting ICE range extender, on top of at least 30KWH to 40KWH battery,... and fitting my budget.
I lost any hope to see any German come with one,... by the time we'll be able to endorse all Electric Long range Teslas in Europe. Since that will be by the end of 2015, after they will have covered with Superchargers all my south Europe vacation locations and routes to get there. Since this is now in only 1 year, I'm planning to purchase a Tesla Model X as soon as early 2016 and forget petrol in my car forever.
I think the PHEV window has been missed entirely by the Germans, who still understood nothing and will see their High End market grabbed by Tesla very soon, before they wake up.
You should have seen the crowd on the small Tesla booth at Paris Motor Show last month ! Done deal for me.



You seem to confound what you personally would like with optimal design.

There is absolutely no point in people buying cars with more battery than they themselves use, and around 22 miles on the EPA does many just fine.

If you want a Tesla and can afford it, fill your boots, but I don't think that cars with an average retail price of $100k have much to do with transport for the masses.

As for more range in a PHEV, then that will be made possible by the next generation of batteries, which LG Chem tell us will be here in 2016 and will enable higher density than in the present Volt.

Roger Pham

Please kindly have sympathy for other OEM's beside Tesla, for there is no way that they can fit battery pack larger than 10 kWh without significantly compromising internal space and boosting weight to undesirable level.

Witness the Chevy Volt losing one rear passenger seat and a lot of cabin space to haul that monstrous 16-kWh battery pack. Ditto for the Ford Fusion PHEV: the 8kWh pack already takes up 1/2 of the trunk space. A 16-kWh pack will take away virtually all the trunk space and then there will be no crumple zone left to protect the battery from fire hazard from a rear-end collision.

Your best bet is to keep pestering Mr. Musk to make a PHEV version of upcoming MOdel X, that will allow customers to specify the size of the battery pack, from 15-30 kWh. Perhaps a BMW-built 90-kW-3-cylinder-1-liter turbocharge engine coupled with a 3-speed transmission in the front axle to provide motive power when running on gasoline, with 90-kW power boost from the rear electric motor, thus providing 4-wheel-drive without shedding any effort! A total of 180 kW ain't bad, even for a high-end vehicle. For faster acceleration on electric mode, the motor can be put behind the 3-speed transmission in the front axle, thereby will give a 90-kW motor an equivalent acceleration to an 180-kW motor without gear change, at speeds at or below highway cruising speeds.

At the moment, only Tesla can deliver what you want...and I heard that Tesla is cooperating with BMW. I truly agree with your idea of a PHEV with minimum ICE power train only, unlike current German PHEV's with monstrous-size engine and 8-speed transmission...way overkill.


The continued increase in battery manufacturing capacity is a far better indicator of the coming growth of this industry than current vehicle sales. The big money seems to know where the future will be. The Rockefellers and others have divested some from fossil energy, wind energy and gas turbines are now the growth areas of electrical generation in the US, and stories like this, where more and more battery production capability is being added. We can have Lesley Stall lie on national TV (reference to the 60 Minutes segment on EVs-in summary, a big pile of lies)but if you look at the facts, it looks like this industry is coming whether some protectors of the status quo like it or not.

Patrick Free

@ Davemart : I'm purchasing cars in the medium/high end €50K to €80K segment, that is mainly held by German car makers in Europe today. And that is where Tesla so far positioned their models too. People who pay so much for a car don't buy a car limited to local commutes ! Stop with that. They want an "all purposes family car". In my case our sole family car (We only have one car park slot in my building in Paris city center. No way to have 2 x cars). Like most Medium/high end German car owners, I do # 65KM/day, with some days # 100KM (Say # 50 Miles average). Then twice per month I have week-end trips of # 400 KM, then few times per year I have vacations trips where I need to do up to 1000 KM # 625 Miles per day, sometimes during several days, essentially on the Motorway, with all family and luggage on board. So I need a car that can do all that, and do it in a fast/sporty and comfortable way, be reliable, and look good. All my friends with comparable cars have # same usage profile. German cars makers know that very well. Those only doing 20M local commutes and nothing else, buy other cars, much smaller and well < €35K, not the big German cars we are discussing here, so don't mixup things. I will buy nothing that can't do the job, full stop. And I won't "regress for green", I'm a progress man only. If German vendors don't address their own market with long range EVs or PHEVs that can do the job correctly, as people will move to this type of greener cars, by interest or by force in Europe (Core center of green cities like Paris limited to SUV that are EVs or PHEVs with a large full EV range in coming years), they will loose their market.
Having to replace a BMW 530DA end of 2015 or 2016 the latest, I plan to purchase a Tesla Model X as my preferred German car vendors still offer me nothing, and with their endless meaningless hybrid steps, they ended pissing me off, to say the least. I went to Paris motor show last month along with 5 friends all on comparable German cars of various brands. All ended with same conclusions as me. Tesla is the only way out for now, as as soon as 2016 it will be an all purpose replacement car option, thanks to their 135KW SuperChargers network. Germans screwed it all hence they will loose. As simple as that.

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