Mercedes-Benz opens eCampus for future battery technologies at Stuttgart HQ
Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz opens eCampus for future battery technologies at Stuttgart HQ

German luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz has inaugurated its new eCampus at the Stuttgart-Untertürkheim headquarters, marking a significant advancement in the company’s commitment to electric mobility. This state-of-the-art facility will serve as a competence centre for developing innovative, high-performance battery cells and new manufacturing processes, crucial for the future of electric vehicles.

The eCampus was unveiled in a ceremony on July 8 attended by notable figures, including German Federal Minister of Economic Affairs Robert Habeck and Baden-Württemberg’s Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann. The facility is set to become the hub for developing and optimising battery technologies, including new chemical compositions and production processes, aimed at reducing battery costs by more than 30% in the coming years.

Key features and investments

Mercedes-Benz will invest EUR14 billion (USD15.16 billion) in research and development and its plants in 2024, with a significant portion dedicated to advancing battery and electric drive systems. The eCampus includes the new “Industrial Cell Lab,” which covers the entire product and process chain of cell development and production. This lab enables the development of expertise for economical manufacturing processes, ensuring high-quality battery cells with “Mercedes-Benz DNA.”

The eCampus reflects Mercedes-Benz’s commitment to sustainability, featuring a building concept with recycled concrete, green roofs, and photovoltaic systems. This facility not only strengthens Stuttgart-Untertürkheim as a high-tech location for drive technologies but also embodies the company’s sustainable business strategy.

Ola Källenius, chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, highlighted the strategic importance of the eCampus: “The opening of the Mercedes-Benz eCampus marks an important step in our sustainable business strategy. It is our ambition to also play a leading technological role in electric mobility. The eCampus brings us closer to this goal.”

Habeck emphasised the significance of developing local capacities and expertise in battery technology: “High-performance batteries comprise the heart of the electrification of transport – and are the key to the successful transformation of the automotive industry. The demand for innovative and sustainable batteries  will continue to rise sharply in Europe in the coming years. It is therefore of central importance that Germany  and Europe build up their own capacities and, in particular, their own expertise in this key technology.”

Commitment to future technologies

The eCampus will start operations in two stages, with the initial phase already operational and the second stage set to be completed by the end of the year. The new facility will house a battery ramp-up factory for product and process development, as well as maturity assurance for large-scale industrial production.

Mercedes-Benz is developing various cell chemistries, including lithium-ion cells with high-energy anodes and innovative cobalt-free cathode chemistries, as well as solid-state battery technology. These advancements aim to achieve high energy density, fast-charging capability, and superior performance.

The eCampus is a cornerstone of Mercedes-Benz’s plan to achieve net carbon neutrality for its fleet of new vehicles by 2039. The company is focusing on a holistic approach to batteries, from circular design to value retention and closing the loop. This includes producing batteries for electric vehicles in a net carbon-neutral manner and reusing or recycling batteries to conserve resources.

Mercedes-Benz’s sustainable business strategy is supported by investments in renewable energy and the establishment of a global battery production network. The company aims to cover more than 70% of its production energy requirements with renewable energy by 2030, with a goal of operating all production plants worldwide on 100% renewable energy by 2039.