Porsche Takes Ownership of Cellforce Group

Porsche has taken full control of high-performance battery maker Cellforce Group and is seeking a location for a 10-20 gigawatt-hour factory and new investors, the luxury automaker said on Wednesday.

Executives are in talks with potential financial and strategic investors to help raise 2-3 billion euros ($2.2-3.3 billion) for the planned factory, Chief Financial Officer Lutz Meschke said, adding he expected to be able to provide further details by the end of the year.

The location of the planned factory is still up in the air, Chief Executive Oliver Blume said.

“We will have a beauty contest between European countries, the U.S., and maybe also Canada,” added Meschke, with both executives emphasising that low energy costs were essential and pointing to the competitive offering in North America.

Porsche wants to supply 180,000 to 200,000 of its own electric cars per year with performance cells with the massive expansion of production and possibly also supply competitors. Manager Magazine writes that Porsche will probably have to invest more than one billion euros in the plant. Series production in the Reutlingen-Kirchentellinsfurt area should start in spring 2024, initially with a small volume. Large-scale production could then start in two or three years.

Cellforce Group, founded in June 2021, was previously co-owned by Porsche and Customcells Holding GmbH, with Porsche investing a high double-digit million euro sum to buy a 72.7% stake.

Executives did not disclose on Wednesday how much they paid for the remaining shares.

The company is building a 1.3 gigawatt-hour plant in the southwest German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg but is seeking a different location for the new, larger plant, Blume said.

Porsche would be the first automotive OEM to build performance cells for electric sports cars on a large scale. It is possible that they could be used in a possible production version of the recently presented Mission X hypercar concept. So far, Porsche has been sourcing its cells from LG Energy Solution.

Production at the German plant is due to begin in 2024, with BASF providing materials for the lithium-ion batteries.