Tuesday, October 19

Porsche builds the super cell

Porsche enters the development and production of battery cells. At first they should only be available for racing cars – then perhaps also in large-scale production.

Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann and Porsche boss Oliver Blume (both on the far right) stand in front of a Porsche Taycan Turbo S.

Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann and Porsche boss Oliver Blume (both on the far right) stand in front of a Porsche Taycan Turbo S.

Porsche gets involved in the development and production of battery cells, which are mainly used for racing cars and super sports cars and which should be correspondingly powerful. The project, which Porsche boss Oliver Blume reported to the FAS several weeks ago, is now taking shape – in the new Cellforce Group, a joint venture with the Fraunhofer spin-off Customcells from Itzehoe.

“This puts us at the top of the global competition for the most powerful battery cell,” said Porsche CEO Oliver Blume at the official start of the activities in the presence of Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) and Thomas Bareiß, CDU State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Economics. The joint venture, in which Porsche holds 83.75 percent and in which the automaker is investing a double-digit million amount, also receives subsidies from the European battery initiative. A total of 60 million euros come from the state and federal government.

There is initially no factory on the Tesla scale, but rather a small battery cell production facility that will have “up to 80 employees” in the middle of the decade, presumably located in Tübingen. The plan is initially to have an annual capacity of 100 megawatt hours, which would be enough for around a thousand vehicles. According to the number of units, it is about racing cars from Porsche as well as luxury cars from the VW group such as Bugatti or Lamborghini.

However, the high-performance cell does not have to remain a pure niche product, said Porsche CEO Oliver Blume: “In a second step, we can think about a giant factory – the market is definitely there,” he said. The project now presented is not part of the six planned Volkswagen battery cell plants that the Wolfsburg-based company announced this spring.

The key: higher energy density

The new super cell, for whose anode silicon is used, is said to have a higher energy density compared to the current series batteries, which makes it more compact. In addition, it can absorb more energy during recuperation and shortens charging times. In addition to Customcells, Cellforce’s development partner is the chemical company BASF, which supplies high-energy cathode material.

The idea for the production of such high-performance battery cells goes back to an initiative of the Stuttgart technology consultant P3 Group, which developed the concept and initiated the application for subsidies as part of the European IPCEI program together with Customcells. It depends on innovative and sustainable technologies.