Varta and Fraunhofer ready to start mass production of battery cells

Varta and Fraunhofer ready to start mass production of battery cells-varta

Together with the Fraunhofer Institute, the battery manufacturer Varta will lay the foundation for mass production of battery cells in Baden-Wurttemberg. The company receives support from subsidies from the state of Baden-Wurttemberg, which is intended to help the world market leader for hearing aid batteries to set up mass production of battery cells for use in electric cars. A production line for large-format battery cells is planned in Ellwangen from 2019, under the project title: DigiBattPro4.0.

With the research project, Varta wants to develop technical advantages in production compared to the Asian manufacturers who have hitherto dominated the market, as well as a schedule, explained Varta boss Herbert Schein on Monday in Stuttgart. “Our business model is not to conduct research projects – if we do research projects, we want to invest and produce and produce,” he added. Schein himself held back to detail with regard to possible partner companies. Where rumors have already been loud that Ford was from the game.

Schein gave diplomatically and announced that one speaks with many market participants to evaluate the opportunities. Without a question, however, it is noted that investments in mass production of lithium-ion battery cells are very high. The Varta owner Michael Tojner had brought a good third of the company to the stock market in October. Of the collected 233 million euros, 150 million euros should flow into the expansion of production.

A manufacturer of hearing aid batteries now seems to be taking a step that hardly any German car manufacturer or supplier has wanted to take so far. And this despite the fact that the federal government has promised start-up financing for companies totaling one billion euros. The aim is to create a counterweight for German manufacturers to cell manufacturers from Asia such as CATL from China, SK Innovation from South Korea or Panasonic from Japan. Certainly makes sense, as Korea’s three major battery makers LG Chem, Samsung SDI and SK Innovation announced that they will set up a 100 billion won fund to help develop the country’s battery industry support financially.

Baden-Wurttemberg would like to get a large piece of the funding cake, to which up to 500 million euros will be added for cell research. “We are committed to establishing cell production for large-format lithium-ion cells here in the country,” said Economics Minister Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut. According to Hoffmeister-Kraut, German companies should not be allowed to become even more dependent on Asian manufacturers.

The state is investing eight million euros in the new project, with a further 30 million euros to come from the budget of the Federal Ministry of Research. The aim is, for example, to reduce the current standard rate of ten percent rejects through more digitized production, explained Thomas Bauernhansl from the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Engineering and Automation in Stuttgart. Varta is the only company in Germany with experience in the mass production of cells. This reduces the risk of entering the market.

It was also announced that the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) launched a new competence cluster for solid-state batteries in October. The aim of the cluster, which is funded with around 16 million euros, is to research the basics of solid-state batteries and to put the knowledge gained directly into application.

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1 thought on “Varta and Fraunhofer ready to start mass production of battery cells”

  1. You should not only support Varta, at least 3 other battery companies. With a clear objective of what is to be achieved. Of course with a real bonus malus system. You can only get ahead with a performance system like in sports.

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