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E-Bike Battery Cell Production in EU To Start in 2019


FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany – By 2019 the first battery cells are to be produced in Europe. Production scale will still be limited but is in the ten years after to grow to a level that will be sufficient to compete with the currently all in Asia based suppliers. At last week’s Eurobike, CEO Sven Bauer of Europe’s biggest battery maker BMZ, presented an update on the current state of affairs for the set-up of the European lithium-cell Gigafactory.

E-Bike Battery Cell Production in EU To Start in 2019
Gigafactory in Germany will be producing 21700 cells in particular. These set new standards in e-bike batteries. – Photo Bike Europe

The founding and construction of that gigafactory is in the hands of TerraE Holding. This company has officially been established in Frankfurt am Main, Germany recently by a broad consortium of 17 companies and research institutes.

European Union’s ‘understanding’

Next to the 17 companies and institutes (including BMZ) also the German government is involved in participating TerraE Holding by providing start-up subsidies. Whether this support is approved by the European Union BMZ CEO Sven Bauer said that there’s “a common understanding.”

First step

For starting up the TerraE gigafactory some 400 million euro is needed. “This as a first step,” said Sven Bauer who further stated that 1.4 billion euro is to be invested for getting production well under way. This is planned for March 2019.

Scaling production up

In 2019 and in 2020 production will be scaled up to an output of some 4.0 Giga Watt hours. In the years after, up to 2028, the planning is to grow the TerraE production to 38 GigaWh. By that time Sven Bauer reckons that about 5 billion euro has been invested in the production facilities which are to be located in Germany. Where in Germany is still the question. But, as Bauer stated, many regional governments are fighting (and putting up subsidies) for the location of the TerraE facility.

21700 cells

According to the BMZ CEO getting the production of lithium ion cells up and running as quickly as possible in Germany is of vital importance for “Being able to keep delivering complete battery packs to e-bike manufacturers. In particular now that the demand for ‘mobile’ products and with that for batteries is exploding.”

21700 Lithium-Ion cells

Sven Bauer expects that the TerraE Gigafactory will especially produce the new 21700 Lithium-Ion cells. This cell not only offers a much prolonged lifetime but also batteries with a much bigger capacity for more power and pedal-supported mileage. By the way, electric car maker Tesla pushed for the development of this new and more powerful cell.

Setting new battery standards

It’s expected that the new 21700 cells will quickly set new standards for e-bike batteries. At this year’s Eurobike the first examples on that already appeared; for instance by BH that has equipped its e-MTB ‘Atom’ topmodel with a 720Wh battery.

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