German battery maker Akasol has officially inaugurated its “Gigafactory 1” in the western German city of Darmstadt. The facility has been mass producing since last October, combining battery cells made by South Korean giant Samsung into working systems, for busses, trains, ships and utility vehicles like trucks.
Capacity will be increased to 2.5 gigawatt hours by the end of 2022, making it, according to Akasol, the largest producer of utility vehicle battery systems outside China.
“The largest factory for utility vehicles in Europe shows that electro-mobility has arrived as part of daily life,” said German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier on Twitter. “Our vigorous support for research, development and mass market entry is now paying dividends.”
Germany is rapidly becoming the electric vehicle battery production hub of Europe. Roughly half of currently or soon to be operational EV battery gigafactories on the continent are located in its biggest economy, and the majority of Germany’s major carmakers, including VW and Daimler, are starting to produce batteries.
The state has been driving this trend with significant financial help. Last year, for instance, battery producer Varta received EUR 300 Million in assistance from Germany’s national government and the regional state governments of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.