Webasto starts EV battery production in Germany
1 October 2019
Global automotive industry supplier Webasto has started the production of batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) in Germany.
The manufacture of battery packs for a European bus maker has already commenced at the company's Schierling site, in the district of Regensburg, and the company will start to produce its self-developed standard battery system for commercial vehicles there from early 2020.
Webasto has invested €11 million in a multi-product line and a further €18 million to establish a prototype construction and validation centre at its Hengersberg site, in the district of Deggendorf.
Three years ago, Webasto took the decision not only to further expand its core business in the area of roofs and heaters, but also to develop additional fields of business in the area of electromobility, with charging solutions and battery systems.
‘We have successfully entered this market with our innovative future mobility products and the first buses with Webasto batteries will shortly take to the streets of major European cities. With the commencement of our in-house battery production activities we are opening a completely new chapter in our almost 120-year corporate history. This is a great team effort by our many expert colleagues, of which we can be very proud.’ says Dr Holger Engelmann, Chairman of the Management Board of Webasto SE.
Leveraging core-business competencies
As it established the development and production of its battery systems, Webasto benefited from the competencies within its core business. The company was, for instance, able to draw on its thermos-management know how, its in-house electronics manufacturing and its experience in the installation of complex systems into vehicles. Webasto has also brought more electromobility experts into the company over the past three years.
Webasto is leveraging its established production network in order to manufacture battery systems for the European market. Roof systems have been produced in Schierling for over 30 years and the group’s competence centre for lightweight construction technologies is also located at the site.
Webasto has also developed its Hengersberg site with a view to producing innovative solutions for the field of electromobility. The competence centre for convertible roofs has been expanded with a state-of-the-art testing and prototype construction facility for batteries. Employees at Hengersberg also manufacture aluminium boxes for battery systems, which are subsequently sent to the Schierling production facility. The cells for the Webasto standard battery are sourced from Samsung SDI, which has been a Webasto partner in the field of battery systems since 2018.
Webasto is also planning to enter the Chinese market. The development and manufacture of battery systems will take place, alongside a roof production facility, at a new Webasto plant in Jiaxing that is scheduled to open at the beginning of 2020.