Valmet Automotive is expecting its sales from the Electric Vehicles (EV) batteries business to reach the level or even surpass that of its vehicle contract manufacturing business within the next few years.
It says the growth will focus on the EV Systems business line with its battery system engineering and manufacturing services, but the company strategy ’emphasizes the importance of e-mobility in all business lines’.
Valmet says battery systems are the essential growth business, and the company has set a target of becoming a key player both as a contract battery manufacturer and as a Tier-1 system supplier (Valmet is also a Tier-1 system supplier for roofs and kinematic systems). The target is based on the continuous growth in demand for batteries and company’s expertise in engineering and manufacturing of 48V and high-voltage batteries for Plug-in and for all-electric vehicles.
Valmet says the EV Systems business line, founded in 2018 and led by Senior Vice President Jyrki Nurmi, has been constantly expanding and employs today about 300 people in Finland and 50 people in Germany. The business line is responsible for Valmet Automotive’s entire battery system value chain, including engineering, manufacturing, testing services and customer relations.
Series production of the first battery system developed by Valmet Automotive began in 2018 at the Uusikaupunki battery plant, and the high-volume Salo battery plant, currently ramping up production to new record levels, was started in 2019. In February 2020, a battery test center was opened in Bad Friedrichshall, Germany.
The EV Systems business line also includes engineering of batteries. The engineering team has locations in Finland and Germany. The entire former battery R&D team in Finland is now part of the EV Systems team. In addition, the German battery engineering and testing team has now joined EV Systems.
Negotiating ‘several Tier-1 projects’ with European OEMs
Olaf Bongwald, CEO, Valmet Automotive, said: “Since 2018 Valmet Automotive has taken vital steps in establishing the company as a key player in electric mobility. This is perceived very positively by our customers and the automotive industry. We now aim at winning a contract as a Tier-1 battery system supplier, and we are currently in promising negotiations for several projects with leading European car manufacturers.”