Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler is incredibly bullish about electric vehicles. So much so that it's recently broken ground on another battery plant in Germany, a stone's throw from its existing facility. It'll begin operating around June next year and sounds positively massive. "The new plant will quadruple the production and logistics area in Kamenz to a total of around 80,000 square meters (around 262,000 feet)," a press release says. More than that, by 2020 the plant will have over 1,000 employees.
"The local production of batteries is an important success factor in our electric offensive and a crucial element in order to flexibly and efficiently serve the global demand for electric vehicles," Mercedes board member Markus Schäfer said.
The new plant will also be environmentally conscious. Mercedes says that the facility will be carbon-dioxide neutral, achieving that with a combined heat-and-power plant and solar power.
This new factory is an important step for Mercedes. It doesn't want to sit on the wayside and let Tesla rule the road for high-end electric vehicles, and recently split ways with Elon Musk's company; Tesla supplied batteries and drivetrains for Mercedes. Rather than paying someone else for their battery tech, Mercedes is investing in itself. And, if it wanted to, could use the expanded production to license the tech to others without impacting its own needs.