Published on March 17th, 2022 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Mercedes-Benz Opens New EV Battery Plant In Alabama
The new plant is expected to create up to 600 new jobs
A new Mercedes-Benz EV battery plant has opened its doors in Bibb County, Alabama, a few months ahead of the start of production of Mercedes-EQ vehicles in the United States. The plant will provide batteries for the new EQS SUV and the EQE SUV, both set to built at the nearby Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI) Tuscaloosa plant.
MBUSI has been making large SUVs such as the GLE, GLE Coupe, GLS and Mercedes-Maybach GLS at the Tuscaloosa plant since 1997. In a few months’ time, the two all-electric SUVs will be added to the production line as part of the automaker’s global push to produce EVs at seven locations on three continents.
Mercedes-Benz said it has invested a total of more than US$7 billion (RM29 billion) in Alabama since the 1990s. Of this amount, US$1 billion (RM4.2 billion) went into the battery plant, the logistics centres and to upgrade the production line to make EVs. Today, the Tuscaloos plant employs around 4,500 workers.
The EV battery plant in Bibb County assembles high-performance lithium-ion batteries into a complete system on a production line around 300 metres long with more than 70 work stations. It uses a fully digitalised production process to combine a variety of components, including up to 12 cell modules and the EE compartment for the integration of the power electronics. The plant is expected to create up to 600 new jobs.
The battery system employs a modular design already seen in the EQS and EQE and uses highly advanced cell chemistry containing nickel, cobalt and manganese in a ratio of 8:1:1. According to Mercedes-Benz, the reduction of cobalt content to around 10%, in addition to the CO2-neutral production of the batteries, enhances sustainability.
The opening of the battery plant puts Bibb County in the Mercedes-Benz global battery production network which includes factories in Kamenz and Stuttgart in Germany, Beijing in China, Bangkok in Thailand, and Jawor in Poland.
Slated for its global unveiling this 19 April, the new EQS SUV will be Mercedes-Benz’s first all-electric luxury SUV and the third model based on the brand’s dedicated electric vehicle architecture. It is essentially a high-riding version of the EQS sedan , so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it has the same 56-inch curved Hyperscreen and possibly similar powertrain options.