Porsche invests in new EV battery JV - Just Auto
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Porsche invests in new EV battery JV

By Graeme Roberts 21 Jun 2021

Porsche said today it was investing “a high double-digit million [Euro] amount in the new company Cellforce Group.

Porsche and joint venture partner Customcells also today announced the launch of production of high-performance battery cells at the Weissach Development Centre.

“As a new subsidiary, the Cellforce Group will be instrumental in driving forward the research, development, production and sales of high-performance battery cells,” said Porsche chairman Oliver Blume.

“This joint venture allows us to position ourselves at the forefront of global competition in developing the most powerful battery cell and make it the link between the driving experience and sustainability. This is how we shape the future of the sports car.”

The new venture, in which Porsche has a majority stake of 83.75%, is based in Tuebingen. The university town is also on the shortlist for the battery factory site which will be located close to the R&D in Weissach and the automaker’s HQ in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen.

The number of employees is expected to grow from the initial workforce of 13 provided jointly by both companies to 80 by 2025.

The Federal Republic of Germany and the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg are funding the project with around EUR60m.

“We founded Customcells with the aim of developing customer-specific battery cells for the most demanding of applications, and this is exactly what we can now realise. The goal for the planned production plant is to reach a minimum annual capacity of 100 MWh. This is equivalent to high performance batteries for 1,000 vehicles,” said Torge Thoennessen, CEO of Customcells.

The chemistry of the new high-performance cells relies on silicon as the anode material to significantly boost the power density compared to current series batteries. The battery can offer the same energy content with a smaller size and the new chemistry reduces the battery’s internal resistance, allowing it to absorb more energy during energy recuperation and improved fast charging. It is also better able to withstand high temperatures.

BASF is a cell development partner for the next generation of lithium-ion batteries and is exclusively providing high-energy HEDTM NCM cathode materials for high-performance cells that enable fast charging and high energy densities.

Its cathode materials factories in Harjavalta, Finland and Schwarzheide, Germany will be able to produce battery materials with a claimed industry-leading low carbon footprint from 2022.

Customcells develops special lithium-ion battery cells. At Itzehoe (Schleswig-Holstein) and Tuebingen (Baden-Württemberg), it develops and produces application-specific battery cells ranging from prototypes to small and medium series.