Porsche enters JV to produce high performance battery cells


Image credit: Porsche

Prestigious sports car maker Porsche has entered a joint venture with battery manufacturer Customcells to create Cellforce Group, to produce high performance battery cells for electric sports cars. 

“The battery cell is the combustion chamber of the future,” Porsche Executive Board chairman Oliver Blume said. 

“As a new Porsche subsidiary, the Cellforce Group will be instrumental in driving forward the research, development, production and sales of high-performance battery cells. 

“This joint venture allows us to position ourselves at the forefront of global competition in developing the most powerful battery cell and make it the link between the unmistakable Porsche driving experience and sustainability. This is how we shape the future of the sports car.” 

Cellforce Group, in which Porsche has a majority stake of 83.75 per cent, will be headquartered in Tübingen, Germany. Tübingen is also being considered for the location of the battery factory, to be located close to the Weissach Development Centre as well as the Porsche headquarters in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. 

With an initial workforce of 13 employees the new company is expected to grow, adding 67 more people by 2025. Cellforce Group will also be funded by the Federal Republic of Germany and the state of Baden-Württemberg with approximately 60 million euros. 

“We founded Customcells with the aim of developing customer-specific battery cells for the most demanding of applications, and this is exactly what we can now realise together with Porsche,” Customcells co-managing director Torge Thönnessen said. 

“The goal for the planned production plant is to reach a minimum annual capacity of 100 MWh. This is equivalent to high-performance batteries for 1,000 vehicles.” 

“We are not only contributing our expertise in cell technology and production into our partnership with Porsche, but also agility, innovative strength and individual problem-solving skills,” Customcells co-managing director Leopold König said. 

The Cellforce battery cells’ chemistry relies on silicon as the anode material, significantly boosting the power density to offer the energy content with a smaller size. By reducing the batteries’ internal resistance, it absorbs more energy during recuperation periods while improving performance for fast charging. 

Another feature which set the Cellforce battery cells apart is it can withstand high temperatures, a quality highly valued in motorsports. However, use on the racetrack does not necessarily require the battery to function in sub-zero temperatures or remain stable for years over many charging cycles – goals which have yet to be achieved with this new cell technology. 

Chemical company BASF has been chosen as a cell development partner for the next generation of lithium-ion batteries. BASF will provide Cellforce with high energy HEDTM NCM cathode materials specifically for fast charging and high energy density properties. At BASF’s manufacturing facilities, the company will produce battery materials with a low carbon footprint from 2022. 

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