(REPOST: Autovista Group)
The company is specifically interested in the development and production of solid state batteries, which when married with an electric vehicle (EV) will produce a longer range than conventional lithium ion batteries. This would give the EV market a boost, with many consumers wary of investing in the technology due to concerns about their range.
‘We could well imagine getting into the production of innovative batteries. That also goes for producing battery cells,’ CEO Elmar Degenhart told Automobilwoche. He added that production of solid state batteries would likely begin in 2024 or 2025.
If Continental decides to invest in battery production, it would open three factories, one in Europe, one in North America and another in Asia, so that production would be close to customers.
Germany would be out of the question as a location due to its high electricity prices, Degenhart said. He noted that LG and Samsung were building smaller battery factories in Poland and Hungary, where electricity is 50% cheaper.
Although European automakers assemble battery packs for electric cars, the region has no significant player in battery cells, the essential building blocks for the batteries that are now mostly made in Asia. The market is dominated by Japanese firms Panasonic and NEC, Korea’s LG and Samsung and China’s BYD and CATL, as well as Tesla in the US.