Germany – Stuttgart / Tübingen / Itzehoe, 21. Juni 2021The latest move in the electric offensive: Porsche has invested millions of dollars in new company Cellforce Group GmbH.Porsche and joint venture partners custom cells Today announced the start of production of high-performance batteries at the Weissach development center. CUSTOMCELLS is one of the world’s leading development companies for specialty lithium-ion battery cells.
“The battery is the combustion chamber of the future. As a new Porsche subsidiary, the Cellforce Group will play an important role in driving the development, production and sales of high-performance batteries,” said Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche. “This joint venture allows us to be at the forefront of the global competition to develop the most powerful battery and makes it the link between an unmistakable Porsche driving experience and sustainability. This is how we shape the future of sports cars.”
Cellforce Group GmbH: joint venture between Porsche and CUSTOMCELLS
On the political front, Winfried Kretschmann, Premier of Baden-Württemberg, Thomas Bareiß, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, and Boris Palmer, Mayor of Tübingen, accompanied the official launch of the company. In attendance were Oliver Blume, CEO of Porsche AG, Michael Steiner, member of the Porsche Development Board, and Leopold König and Torge Thönnessen, Managing Directors of Customcells Itzehoe GmbH. The new joint venture, in which Porsche owns an 83.75 percent majority stake, is headquartered in Tübingen. The university town is also on the shortlist for the location of the battery factory, which will be in the immediate vicinity of the research and development center in Weissach and the headquarters of Porsche AG in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. The number of employees is expected to grow from an initial 13 provided jointly by the two companies to 80 by 2025. The Federal Republic of Germany and the state of Baden-Württemberg are funding the project with approximately EUR 60 million.
“We founded CUSTOMCELLS with the aim of developing customer-specific batteries for the most demanding applications, and that is what we can now achieve together with Porsche. The planned production plant is targeted for an annual production capacity of at least 100 MWh. This Equivalent to 1,000 high-performance batteries for cars,” says Torge Thönnessen, CEO of CUSTOMCELLS. Leopold König, CEO of CUSTOMCELLS: “We have not only contributed our expertise in battery technology and production to the cooperation with Porsche, but also our agility, innovation and personal problem-solving skills.”
“Porsche was founded in Stuttgart in 1931 as an engineering and development office. Today, you cannot buy the core technology of our high-performance sports cars. We develop it ourselves,” says Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board of Porsche Research and Development. “That’s why it is logical that we develop and build the key technology of the future – the battery – ourselves. It is also logical that we test this new technology first in the most competitive environment – motorsports. Our The electric sports car Taycan also takes key developments and leading technical features from the Le Mans-winning Porsche 919 Hybrid from the track.”
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The idea for a high-performance battery manufacturing plant came from an initiative of the P3 Group. The Stuttgart-based management consultancy developed the concept and submitted a funding application to CUSTOMCELLS in 2019 as part of the European IPCEI project EuBatIn (Important Project of European Common Interest – European Battery Innovation), which The project aims to establish a competitive European value chain based on innovative and sustainable technologies for lithium-ion batteries. Porsche from the automotive industry is involved as a project partner. This year, P3 Group decided to remain neutral and independent in the market and not directly participate in the joint venture. As a technical consulting company, P3 has a deep technical understanding in the field of batteries, and has signed a long-term service contract with Cellforce Group.
The idea for a high-performance battery manufacturing plant came from the Stuttgart-based management consultancy P3 Group and CUSTOMCELLS, which already operates a small production plant in Tubingen. In 2019, P3 and CUSTOMCELLS as part of the fall IPCEI EuBatIn (Main Project of Common Interest – European Battery Innovation). Porsche from the automotive industry joined as a project partner. For strategic reasons, the P3 Group decided this year to continue working as an independent consultant with a deep technical understanding of the battery sector, only as an external partner. Cellforce Group has a long-term service agreement with P3.
The contract between Porsche and CUSTOMCELLS was signed on May 21, 2021. The Managing Directors of the new Cellforce Group GmbH are Porsche COO Markus Gräf and CFO Wolfgang Hüsken, as well as CUSTOMCELLS CTO Torge Thönnessen.
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