While a lot of European eyes have been on Tesla’s Berlin Gigafactory, other companies have been quietly making their own plans. Battery manufacturer Microvast has opened its new European headquarters in Ludwigsfelde, Germany with plans to produce 500,000 battery modules.
Microvast, founded in 2006, makes batteries for commercial vehicles such as taxis and buses, as well as speciality transportation including mining trucks and port equipment.
In many markets, Microvast supplies lithium-ion battery components, instead of complete packs, to passenger carmakers. Their products are also used in data centres and consumer electronic devices.
While the new premises won’t be running at full capacity due to COVID-19, it is expected that up to 1.5 GWh of battery modules will be manufactured along a 100-meter-long production line at the 36,000-square-meter site. At the final stage, the factory will be able to accommodate 250 employees and generate an output of up to 6 GWh.
Microvast said it had invested approximately 50 million euros in the project so far, and 250 jobs will be created.
The company initially plans an annual production of about 300,000 to 500,000 battery modules for 10,000 to 15,000 electric vehicles. In the final expansion phase, battery systems will be delivered for about 50,000 to 75,000 vehicles per year.
Sascha Kelterborn, Senior VP Sales & Marketing Western Globe, Microvast, Inc., said: “Anyone who has ever engaged in corporate relocation and the setup of a production facility would know how challenging these tasks are even in normal times.
“Our employees and service partners have done truly an exceptional job under the current pandemic circumstances. I am very grateful for their hard work.”
At the end of last year, it was awarded a contract by the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium to develop low-cost and fast-charge batteries for electric vehicle applications. Just earlier this week it announced that it will go public via a merger with Tuscan Holdings Corp. in a deal that values the combined company at £2 billion.
Some background on Microvast
Microvast, Inc. is a rapid growing market leader in design, development and manufacturing of ultra-fast charging, long life traction battery systems with superior safety features for electric vehicles.
The company is renowned for its cutting-edge cell technology and the vertical integration capability which extends from core battery chemistry (cathode, anode, electrolyte, membrane separator) to application technologies (battery management systems) and other power control electronics.
By integrating the process from raw material to system assembly, Microvast is able to provide customised solutions with reduced project development time and at controllable costs.