Germany\'s Varta steps up plans to mass produce electric car battery cells
STUTTGART (Reuters)- Varta, German battery manufacturer (VAR1. DE) A research agreement has been signed to lay the foundation for mass production of lithium The ion battery for electric vehicles because it is trying to compete with Asian leaders in the industry. Varta, which currently focuses on hearing aid batteries and large solar storage systems, has reached a cooperation agreement with the German research institute Fraunhofer, the two sides said on Monday. The German government has allocated 1 billion euros ($1. 1 billion) Support domestic companies looking to produce batteries for electric vehicles as a way to reduce the dependence of German automakers on Asian suppliers and protect jobs at risk from internal combustion engines. Through this research project, Varta hopes to gain more technical advantages than Asian manufacturers in battery production and is having in-depth discussions with relevant market participants to expand its product line, herbert Shane, varta CEO, told reporters in Stuttgart. He declined to give more details. Chemical giant Varta)BASFn. DE)and Ford’s (F. N) Ford German subsidiary The source told Reuters that Werke GmbH was one of the companies involved in negotiations with German economic minister Peter Altmaier on establishing a local battery alliance. Berlin\'s efforts to formulate industrial policies marked a breakthrough in its general \"letting go\" approach to business decisions and part of Europe\'s efforts to establish a battery alliance to counter China\'s dominance, companies in Japan and South Korea. However, Asian market leaders are already increasing production and increasing the risk of oversupply, which may prevent newcomers in Europe from building battery production. Volkswagen (VOWG_p. DE) Willing to join Berlin too- A person familiar with the matter said last week that the led consortium is exploring the production of electric vehicle batteries in Germany. Thomas Bowen Hans, IPA Director of the Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation, fraunhove, said that the focus of the research project was to build a more digital production line that would reduce the current scrap rate by 10%. Varta is currently the only company in Germany with experience in mass production of battery batteries, which reduces the risk of market entry in new areas such as large lithium Electric vehicles with lithium-ion batteries, Bauernhansl said. Economic Minister Altai Maier said several consortia were interested in battery production and he expected the first concrete investment decision to be made by the end of 2019.