Economy

Daimler: “Dependency on China when it comes to battery major mistakes,” says the expert

Marijan Murat / picture alliance via Getty Images

Germany is transforming itself into a center for electromobility. A total of six new Giga plants for the production of battery cells are planned in this country.

In Saarland, Svolt has announced that it will build a factory with a capacity of 24 kilowatt hours, invest two billion euros and create 2,000 jobs. A similarly sized factory is being built by CATL in Erfurt. In Grünheide, Tesla boss Elon Musk has even announced the largest battery factory in the world. Northvolt and Volkswagen are working on a joint cell factory in Salzgitter. In Kaiserslautern, PSA is building a battery factory in a consortium; Farasis is also doing the same in Bitterfeld-Wolfen.

In short: there is a lot going on in the electrical industry in Germany. The problem: The big initiatives come less from the German carmakers than from Chinese and American companies on German soil.

Car expert Sahin Albayrak thinks that the German carmakers can be demonstrated in their own territory. He is a professor at the TU Berlin and head of the DAI laboratory. “To be honest, German carmakers are currently giving a sad picture overall in the battery segment,” says Albayrak. The world’s largest producers of e-batteries are the Chinese, followed by the Americans, he adds.

“And now comes the joke: Even on German soil, the largest battery manufacturers will be Chinese and soon American companies when Elon Musk builds his factory in Grünheide. It has to be said with great severity: The German carmakers are being demonstrated in front of everyone in their own territory, ”says Albayrak.

Of course, it is also clear that Volkswagen is building its own battery cell factory with Northvolt. But the advance comes late, very late – as even high-ranking representatives from Volkswagen admit.

BMW and Daimler rely on Chinese manufacturers to supply battery cells. Bayern mainly on CATL, Daimler on Farasis. A wrong strategic decision, believes Albayrak.

“The competition on the automobile market will be decided in the coming years in three areas: the most effective battery, intelligent components and the best software. It is a historical mistake that Daimler is giving up battery production. How can you give the absolute differentiating feature of your vehicles to someone else? And then to a Chinese company, ”says auto expert Albayrak.

The Stuttgart would become more and more dependent on China. “This is Daimler’s Achilles tendon. If a Mercedes manager accidentally expresses himself critical of the communist leadership, it could well be that the battery supply to the Stuttgart people will be cut, ”says Albayrak. The Ant-Group’s IPO, which has just failed, is the best example of this. Boss Jack Ma has been critical of the leadership. “And a short time later the IPO was a thing of the past,” warns Albayrak.

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