Mercedes-Benz, a division of Daimler Truck, has commenced the construction of its InnoLab Battery facility in Mannheim. The building is expected to be ready for use by August, with plans to establish a pilot line for the prototypical production of battery cells and assembly of batteries in the coming months.
The InnoLab battery laboratory in Mannheim is a crucial step towards developing Daimler Truck’s own battery technology competence. It will generate expertise in battery cell production and its specific application in commercial vehicles.
This move is part of the partnership between Daimler Truck and engineering company Manz, which was announced in May 2022. The pilot line for lithium-ion battery cells and the subsequent production of complete battery systems for electric buses and trucks are the initial focus areas of the collaboration. The insights gained will inform future decisions regarding Daimler Truck’s vertical manufacturing capabilities for its battery systems.
Andreas Moch, site manager at the Mercedes-Benz Mannheim plant, highlighted the transformation taking place at the facility, stating, “The Mannheim plant is in the midst of a transformation from a classic engine plant to our competence centre for battery technologies and high-voltage systems.”
The completion of the InnoLab Battery facility represents an important milestone in this transition, enabling the development of innovative battery technologies and associated production processes.
The renovation of Hall 18, which covers an area of 7,500 square meters, was a part of the construction project. Previously used for machining cylinder crankcases and flywheels, the building underwent a complete renovation within a 15-month period. Additionally, a 3,500-square-meter extension was constructed using prefabricated concrete parts. Special clean and dry rooms were incorporated into the design to protect the sensitive battery materials from dust particles and humidity.
The InnoLab Battery facility will house over 60 systems, enabling the testing of various processes involved in the prototypical production of battery cells and systems. These processes include coating technologies, welding, assembly, and bonding. Daimler Truck aims to manufacture its first battery cells and prototype battery systems at the InnoLab Battery by the end of 2023.