Germany-based AKASOL, a manufacturer of high-performance lithium-ion battery systems for commercial vehicles, plans to open a production facility in the metro Detroit area of Michigan. Opening dedicated operations in North America comes in response to specific demand for the firm’s high energy battery modules from major international manufacturers and will allow AKASOL to pursue ambitious growth plans for the region.
The State of Michigan has given its full backing to AKASOL’s plans, awarding the firm a Michigan Business Development Program grant towards the construction of the production facility.
The new facility will generate considerable investment and create more than 200 jobs in the next five years. The location of the site will also ensure that AKASOL’s customers comply with Buy America Act regulations, which dictate that they must purchase locally produced battery systems.
With almost 30 years of experience in battery systems technology, AKASOL develops and manufactures high-performance lithium-ion battery systems for buses, commercial vehicles, trains, industrial vehicles and the marine sector. The German firm made its successful initial public offering on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in June 2018, employs 180 people across its two sites in Darmstadt and Lange and is due to start construction of its new, significantly expanded headquarters in Darmstadt in July 2019.
AKASOL’s new Michigan production facility will have a similar capacity to the firm’s current series production site in Lange, Germany. Two-thirds of its initial capacity will cater to new customers, with the remaining third dedicated to AKASOL’s existing customers.
Initial production, which is due to begin in 2020, will focus on the second-generation AKASystem OEM PRC battery system (currently in 25 kWh and 33 kWh configurations), with high energy density battery systems following soon after. By 2021, AKASOL expects production to have increased to 400 MWh in a three-shift operation.
AKASystem OEM PRC battery system