With the Tesla Gigafactory in Grunheide near Berlin, Brandenburg has got not only the first electric car factory in Germany as it was intended from the outset, but also the potential of one of the first large battery factories. Not long after, in June 2021, Tesla applied for permission to do so in its own building on the site. According to current reports, production can start there in the first quarter of 2023. And along with Svolt, another company has announced that it wants to build a battery factory in Brandenburg.
Brandenburg as an electric car hub
In this case, unlike Tesla, it may or may not be built from scratch, as Swolt is taking the system from wind turbine manufacturer Vestas in Lauchhammer, on the southern edge of Brandenburg. According to a statement from the Chinese company, the building and infrastructure are undergoing changes and are being transformed and expanded to suit their needs. According to the information, this is the second Swolt location for battery production in Germany and third overall: there are plans for a factory for modules and storage and another for batteries in Saarland.
According to the electrive.net portal, Swolt put a target capacity of 16 gigawatt-hours per year at Lauchhammer, which is relatively low these days. For example, Volkswagen officially began manufacturing its first battery factory in Salzgitter in July and announced 40 gigawatt hours. Tesla has received approval for 50 gigawatt-hours of annual battery production for Grunheide. It should now start in the first quarter of 2023, it was reported last weekend after an information event on the Gigafactory.
Like Tesla several times before, Swolt received recognition for the decision from the Prime Minister of Brandenburg and the Minister of Economic Affairs, who also traveled to the announcement. The company has not announced when production will start there. For its part, however, it praised the chosen location and pointed out that in recent years an innovative center for electromobility has emerged in Lauchhammer and the federal state. For example, BASF is in the immediate vicinity and has been a partner for battery materials and recycling since late 2021.
Battery from Svolt in Tesla format
The planned 16 gigawatt hours per year would still be enough for 200,000–300,000 electric cars per year, depending on the size of the battery. Swolt didn’t specify who the buyers should be, but they shouldn’t be difficult to find. In its Brandenburg announcement, the company, which was spun off from Chinese carmaker Great Wall Motor, mentioned a new NMX battery without cobalt. In the picture material you can see another one (see above), which looks like a Tesla format 4680 and, according to a sign next to it, is at least the same diameter. But that’s not a sign of a partnership with Tesla in Grunheide, as BMW now wants to have such a thick cell for new electric cars.