BMZ MD Sven Bauer on E-Bike Battery Delivery Problems
FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany – Ongoing and persistent rumours speak of delivery problems with e-bike batteries. At Eurobike Bike Europe asked BMZ MD Sven Bauer for a reaction. He said, “There are no delivery problems.”
BMZ’s Sven Bauer furthered with, “The problem is in poor planning. You have to take into account that in the world there are 4 major battery makers; Sony, Panasonic, Samsung and LG. They handle 80% of the market that in total stands at a production of about 2.5 billion cells. Carmakers want an increasingly portion of this production. When Tesla orders 350 million cells, this immediately has an effect. To withstand that we need forecasts from e-bike makers. With these forecasts we can reserve production lines in Japan and Korea for BMZ.”
Booming lithium-ion battery demand
Earlier this year BMZ boss Bauer noted that, “With the discussion on subsidies for e-cars it is easy to forget that lithium-ion batteries can also be used for e-bikes, e-tools, electric garden tools, storage units for renewable energies, lifting and transport vehicles, diggers etc. Different to e-cars we already experience a real boom in demand. We estimate that the demand in the segments mentioned will increase by approximately 15 to 30 percent annually. The modular extension concept of our new factory makes us more flexible and allows us to react faster on any growth strategy and customer requirement”.
200 million lithium-ion battery cells
That new factory BMZ officially opened last May. It is added to the existing production facility at the company’s German headquarters in Karlstein. With two new production halls BMZ is now able to develop, produce and test up to 200 million lithium-ion battery cells with a total storage capacity of around 15 GWh per year.
Production to expand to 800 million cells
The two new production halls are only the first part of BMZ’s expansion plan. Until 2020 the German company plans to build four additional production, laboratory and administration buildings on its Karlstein-Grosswelzheim business premises which measures 55,000 square meter in total. Once that new facility will be up and running completely the BMZ headquarters will employ a maximum of 1,500 people producing, “up to 800 million lithium-ion battery cells in different sizes with a total storage volume of around 40 GWh per year,” is noted by BMZ.
Currently BMZ operates its own facilities in Germany, China, USA and Poland. At last May’s official opening of the new buildings in Karlstein, Germany, BMZ owner Bauer underlined that the ongoing 80 million euro investment, “is a giant project and an important mile stone in the more than 20 years history of our company.”