Battery manufacturer adds production space

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Europe’s leading developer and producer of intelligent lithium-ion batteries has opened further production, logistics and office buildings at its Karlstein-Großwelzheim site in Germany. According to BMZ, the buildings complement the existing 7000m² production facility.

The extended manufacturing capacity will allow up to 200million lithium-ion batteries to be produced each year, with an overall storage capacity of about 15GWhr. Four further production, laboratory and office buildings are planned by 2020, by which time the company will have the ability to make 800m lithium-ion batteries per year.

CEO Sven Bauer said: “The current discussions on subsidies for electric cars often forget that lithium-ion batteries are also used in e-bikes, electrical appliances, gardening tools, energy storage systems, transport vehicles, excavators and so on. Unlike electric cars, we are seeing a real boom in demand in many of these sectors and we assume the demand in these segments will increase by 15 to 30% per year in the coming years, depending on the application.

“Our new factory units will enable BMZ to respond more quickly and more flexibly to this growth, as well as to specific customer requests.”

BMZ plans to launch what it calls an ‘extremely efficient’ cell. The cell, which should be available in prototype format by the end of 2016, is said to have 60% more capacity than a standard 18650 cell, as well as twice the durability. BMZ also notes the cell will be able to accommodate a 400% increase in charging current.