Mercedes-Benz energy storage systemEnlarge Photo
Tesla Motors’ [NSDQ:TSLA] much-hyped Gigafactory battery plant is currently under construction in Nevada, but it's not the only plant of its kind from an automaker.
Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, has confirmed plans to build a new battery plant to supply lithium-ion batteries for future hybrid and electric cars. This will actually be the second battery plant for Daimler; it will be located next to an existing plant located in Kamenz, Germany.
Daimler, which at one point owned a substantial stake in Tesla, will soon have dozens of electrified vehicles in its fleet and thus is in need of more capacity. The company also offers energy storage for the home, rivaling Tesla’s Powerwall products.
Work on the new plant will start in the fall. The first batteries should be in production as early as mid-2017.
“To get closer to fully electric driving, we keep investing big in the key component of emission-free vehicles—powerful batteries,” Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said. “We are now devoting another 500 million euros to build a second battery factory in Germany.”
As mentioned, most of the batteries will end up in new hybrid and electric cars from Mercedes. A majority of the automaker’s sedans and SUVs will offer a plug-in hybrid option by the end of the decade, and the automaker is also working on a new platform for electric cars. The platform, dubbed EVA (an acronym for Electric Vehicle Architecture), will reportedly be the basis of up to four electric cars spanning both sedans and SUVs, with the first model due in 2018.