The federal government, the Free State of Bavaria and the Land Baden-Württemberg will support the expansion of battery cell production by VARTA by providing funding totalling 300 million euros. The funding approvals will be handed over by Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier, Dr Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing, and Mr Roland Weigert, State Secretary in the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, in Ellwangen on 30 June 2020.

Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier said: “We are launching the next phase of battery cell production in Germany. The first battery components are already being manufactured in Germany. We are now ready to take the next step towards large-scale serial production for automotive and industrial applications to advance the energy transition and the transport transition. In this context, it is important for me that we improve the carbon footprint of batteries and make more efficient use of raw materials. Our aim is to produce the most innovative and sustainable batteries in Germany and Europe. I therefore want to see smart and efficient interaction between battery research, innovation and recycling. This creates innovative value chains and skilled jobs in Germany and Europe.”

Dr Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Economic Affairs, said: “VARTA’s project is a milestone for Baden-Württemberg as a production centre. Together with the federal government, the government of the Land Baden-Württemberg is making an important contribution to establishing internationally competitive battery production as soon as possible. We want to further improve our good position in this field and make our region a hub for battery research, development and production in Europe. I am convinced that we will soon achieve visible successes along the entire battery value chain and make Baden-Württemberg a leading industrial site in this field by means of targeted support. In addition, valuable forward-looking jobs will be created far beyond the region, and this is particularly important in these difficult economic times. This is the right signal at the right time.”

Bavarian State Secretary Roland Weigert said: “We must invest in new market opportunities now. Establishing battery production in Germany also implies that we can become less dependent on imports. Bavaria is co-financing 30 percent of the federal government’s funding so that research on the next generation of lithium-ion batteries can be done at Varta in Nördlingen for mass production. We are firmly convinced that we can thus secure and create jobs in Bavaria.”

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy provides funding for two large-scale projects in the field of battery innovation. They are being implemented as Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEIs) and involve projects from several European Member States. VARTA AG is part of the first IPCEI, which has been approved by the European Commission under state aid rules. 17 companies from a total of seven Member States are working together under the project.

The aim of the European overall initiative is to create the basis for battery cells and modules in Europe. A major focus of the Economic Affairs Ministry is on improving the sustainability of batteries, i.e. on low CO2 emissions regarding the production, disposal, follow-up use and recycling of batteries and raw materials.