Daimler to add its fourth battery pack production site, and its third in Germany
Daimler-owned Mercedes-Benz has announced that its Untertürkheim plant will be developed into an electric component facility to serve increasing demand for electric mobility.
The transformation, it says, will include a new battery production at the site, and an assembly plant for electric modules for front and rear axles. This makes the Untertürkheim site “a competence centre for the integration of the entire electric powertrain into production,” the company stated.
“In the coming years, we plan to produce a rising number of powertrains for conventional and hybrid vehicles. At the same time, we are creating competitive conditions in our plants with regard to electric mobility. With this further development, Untertürkheim will continue to be the lead plant in the global powertrain production network,” of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain board member Markus Schäfer said.
This will be the first time that battery assembly has been performed at the site. The plant will reportedly supply the passenger car plant in nearby Sindelfingen with batteries for the company’s EQ range of EVs.
A separate announcement on July 14 also confirmed that the EQ and eQ brands will be jointly used by Daimler and Chery in China.
The plant’s management and works council have also agreed that powertrain modules for electric vehicles from the compact to the upper and luxury class of the EQ product and technology brand will be assembled in Untertürkheim. Increasing numbers of conventional axles will still to be produced. Untertürkheim will continue to benefit from its existing expertise in lightweight construction for axles and structural components used in vehicles with combustion engines as well as in electric vehicles.
In order to pool expertise in the field of battery-electric vehicles, Untertürkheim will set up a “project house eATS” in order to develop additional know-how for the next generation of an electric drive system (eATS). This leads to an even closer interaction between development and production.
Untertürkheim will also obtain a competence centre in which prototypes electric-drive will be built.
The plant has already been responsible for assembling fuel-cell systems. With the new agreement, stack production for the fuel-cell is added in Untertürkheim to fuel cell system assembly. Under a plan agreed in 2015, several billion euros will also be invested into the future development of the Untertürkheim site in the next years.