Streetscooter and e.Go founder Günter Schuh had made the plan to build the first German cell factory in North Rhine-Westphalia. A short time later, Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU) promised billions in funding for the construction of a battery cell production in Germany. Six companies have applied nationwide for it. As the Handelsblatt reports, Schuh surprisingly refused the application for the funding. He was considered the driving force of the project.
“We had hoped that the announcements by different partners would be followed by action. But unfortunately so far it has remained with non-binding commitments”, said Schuh opposite the newspaper. In February, the company acquired by Deutsche Post Streetscooter, the e-carmaker e.Go, the battery producer BMZ and the startup TerraE had announced that they want to build a joint location together. Further commitments from the “private sector” have turned out to be too low, so shoe “e.Go is a small company that could not take the risks of other partners” said Schuh in the media report.
The other partners from the association still want to build a cell production in NRW. According to Handelsblatt, other applicants for the government subsidy will also include companies such as BASF, VW, PSA, BMW and Northvolt.
Batteries for e-cars
A startup to solve Europe’s battery problem Northvolt builds Europe’s largest factory for lithium-ion cells. The company was founded by two former Tesla managers. They are also planning a gigafactory in Germany.
With the Gigafactory, Tesla made the start in 2014 for large-scale battery manufacturing. For a long time this country lacked ambitions in the sector. It was not until 2017 that the startup TerraE drew attention to itself with a draft for a German production site. The implementation should be done together with BMZ. The next announcement for a production made the rounds in 2018 – but by a Chinese company. Around the same period, Volkswagen announced its intention to invest in battery production in the United States.