At the site of the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant in Germany, the construction of the battery factory at the Brühl sub-plant has begun with the symbolic foundation-laying ceremony. By the end of the decade, Mercedes-Benz Cars will produce high-efficiency traction batteries for future Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles of the EQ product and technology brand on 12,000 m2 in a newly erected and carbon-neutral battery factory at Brühl.
The new battery factory is an important component in the global battery production network within the production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars comprising nine battery factories at seven locations on three continents.
Mercedes-Benz Cars is investing more than one billion euros in a global battery production network within the worldwide Mercedes-Benz Cars production network. Local battery production will be a major success factor in the electric initiative of Mercedes-Benz Cars, and the crucial component when it comes to meeting the worldwide demand for electric vehicles flexibly and efficiently, the company said.
The global battery production network ensures the competitiveness of Mercedes-Benz Cars and puts the particular locations on a competitive footing. Daimler purchases the battery cells on the world market. The blocks of cells are assembled into an installation-ready overall battery system in the battery factories—including housing, control unit as well as functional testing.
Our powertrain production network is in the midst of the transformation. With the battery production at the Untertürkheim plant, we are further advancing the transition into a high-tech location for components of electric mobility. At the same time, we continue to produce conventional engines, axles, transmissions and components in large numbers. This flexibility of the team makes us strong.—Frank Deiß, Head of Powertrain Production Mercedes-Benz Cars and Site Manager of the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant
As part of the negotiations on the target visions of recent years, a “Project Centre eATS” has been in existence at the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant since autumn 2018 in order to build up know-how for the next generation of an electronic powertrain (eATS). There is also an “E-Technical Centre”, where prototypes for the electric powertrain are built, amongst other things.
In addition, since the beginning of 2019, the Untertürkheim plant has been responsible for the battery pilot factory. It forms the bridge between development and series production. This is where the energy storage units are tested and optimised for a production-oriented product design in order to ensure an efficient large-scale production in the worldwide battery factories.
In addition to building the batteries, the pilot factory qualifies employees for the future series production at the Brühl and Hedelfingen sub-plants. The Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant thus bundles important skills as a pilot factory, especially for the battery production. Furthermore, the company announced in 2018 that the capacity would be doubled again beyond the battery production already agreed with the works council the previous year.
In addition, it was agreed that a battery factory will also be added at the Hedelfingen sub-plant of the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant.
The Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant looks back on more than 115 years of tradition and is the largest location in the global powertrain production network and home to Daimler Group headquarters. With more than 19,000 employees, the plant produces engines, axles, transmissions and components.
The tradition-rich plant is a hi-tech location and a center of competence for high-efficiency engines, hybrid powertrains and the production of fuel-cell systems. Research and Development is also located here with a test track for vehicle testing. The plant comprises six sub-plants in all.