Mercedes-Benz has confirmed Chinese majority-owned battery specialist Envision AESC will begin supplying its manufacturing facility in Tuscaloosa, Alabama with what it describes as “high performance lithium-ion battery modules” from the middle of the decade.
The German-Sino co-operation is the latest component in Mercedes-Benz’s plans to begin producing a range of new electric models, including the upcoming Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV, EQE SUV and a new Maybach SUV, at the US-based site.
Production of the EQS SUV is set to begin at Mercedes-Benz’s Tuscaloosa plant, which currently manufactures the Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV, GLE Coupe and Mercedes-Benz GLS, in June, while assembly of the EQE SUV is set to begin in October.
Timing for the production of the Maybach SUV has not yet been confirmed, though employees at the site suggest it could be the first model to benefit from the supply deal with Envision AESC.
Mercedes-Benz says it has planned for a capacity of up to 6000 electric vehicles per month at Tuscaloosa in the longer term.
The battery modules to be supplied by Envision AESC will be produced in a new US-based factory, the location of which has not been disclosed.
“Envision AESC will be a major supplier securing capacity for the next generations of our Mercedes-EQ production built in the US,” said Markus Schaefer, Mercedes-Benz’s Chief Technology Officer. “This new co-operation allows us to secure supplies, to take advantage of economies of scale and to provide our customers with superior battery technology.”
AESC (Automotive Energy Supply Corporation) began operations as a Japanese-based joint venture between NEC and Nissan in 2007. It was integrated into Chinese battery conglomerate Envision in 2018.