Ground was broken on what is soon to be the largest battery factory in the whole of Europe, in Karlstejn-Großwelzheim (Karlstein), Germany.
Occasionally referred to as a “German Gigafactory,” the Batterien-Montage-Zentrums (BMZ) facility is currently expected to be completed by 2020. It will total 55,000 square meters of working space, and be home to roughly 1,500 employees.
The facility will reportedly possess a manufacturing capacity of about 5 GWh — putting it amongst the largest such battery factories in the world when completed.
In a reply to a question by one of our readers (tip of the hat to Philip W), the developer stated (as translated from German): “Hello, if everything goes as planned we will produce up to 80 million Lithium-Ion batteries in various sizes in Karlstein. The overall capacity will be about 5 GWh”
I’m not sure if the comparison with the Tesla Motors and Panasonic Gigafactory is really the right one, but it will certainly be a notable facility once up and running.
Writing on subjects such as these, I can’t help but be slightly amused by the apparent rivalry between Tesla Motors and many German manufacturers. Still, that psuedo-rivalry doesn’t seem to have resulted in prominent manufacturers such as BMW making any truly strong moves into the electric vehicle market.
While it’s worth applauding BMW for the i3 to some degree (especially since it has sold better than expected), it isn’t really much of a competitor for Tesla in any real regard — it’s doesn’t have the range or power to really rival Tesla’s vehicles. I can’t help but wonder when the German automakers will begin taking the electric vehicle market more seriously?
Those that can understand German can find more on the “German Gigafactory” here.
(Thanks again to Philip W for the heads up.)
Image Credit: Screen Capture