German brand invests in China to cater to skyrocketing demand in the world’s largest electric vehicle market

Daimler and its partner in China, Beijing Benz Automotive, are building a new battery factory next to their existing production site in Beijing.

The companies are jointly investing €655 million euros (about £576.5m) into the site, which will produce batteries for Daimler brands, such as Mercedes EQ, in the world’s largest and fastest growing electric vehicle market. The battery cells themselves will be sourced from China.

Due to open in 2020, the factory is the first Daimler battery production site outside of Germany. It’s announcement comes just over one month after the breaking of ground on a second £431 million battery factory in Germany, which is located beside Daimler’s first and currently only fully operational battery factory.

Both plants will become part of a global hub of battery production for Daimler brands. The hub is receiving €1 billion worth of investment and will primarily be used to supply Mercedes models.

Hubertus Troska, member of the board of management at Daimler, said “By 2025, the Chinese market will have a substantial share in sales of Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles. Therefore, local production will be key to the success of our EV portfolio, and crucial to flexibly serving local demand for electric vehicles”.

Mercedes EQ, the sub brand of Mercedes and Daimler’s first fully electric brand, will launch its first model, the EQ C (pictured in concept form above), in 2019. The Jaguar I-Pace rival will be followed by a variety of models using the same EV platform, from the EQ A, through the EQ C and EQ E, up to an EQ S flagship.

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