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Germany Fertile Ground for Automotive Battery Manufacturers

Automotive batteries is one of the major topics in the global auto industry. This is because energy storage is crucial in developing low emission powertrains using hybrid or fully electric technologies. According to the consultancy Advanced Auto Batteries, global growth in automotive batteries has increased more than ten-fold over the last six years and the global market will likely approach US$1.4 billion by 2010 and $2 billion by 2013. Growth in hybrids is especially strong in Germany, where registrations increased 44 percent in 2007. Business opportunities in Germany werepresented at the Advanced Automotive Battery and Ultracapacitator Conference, AABC 2008, held May 14-16th in Tampa, Florida, USA. 

Major German automakers are working to develop new battery-powered drivetrains for which a reliable and long-lasting means of storing energy is essential. German OEMs are scheduled to release nine initial hybrid model series by 2010. These manufacturers encompass major players such as Daimler, BMW, Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen, and Opel. 

Daimler holds 25 patents in lithium-ion battery technologies and is planning to integrate such batteries into its hybrid S-class Mercedes models by 2009. The supplier Continental is serving as Daimler’s system integrator and battery supplier. 

Other industry leaders such as BASF, Bosch, Evonik, and Volkswagen have joined forces under the “Lithium Ion Battery LIB 2015” innovation alliance. They are investing EUR360 million in coming years in research and development of lithium-ion batteries. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is contributing EUR60 million toward this effort, as part of the federal government’s “high-tech strategy.” Over a ten-year period, the federal government will provide EUR1.1 billion to applied research on automotive electronics, lithium-ion batteries, lightweight construction, and other automotive applications.

The German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) has recently launched a joint initiative among all the participating branches of industry, research institutes, and the BMBF to develop industry standards and a common base for future research in alternative storage systems. Opportunities exist for foreign investors to establish their own facilities in Germany, partner with German OEMs or suppliers, and apply for research funding.

Invest in Germany is the inward investment promotion agency of the Federal Republic of Germany. It provides investors with comprehensive support from site selection to the implementation of investment decisions. Invest in Germany can be found at stand 44 during the AABC 2008.

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