German auto parts maker ElringKlinger AG has a joint venture deal with the Chinese company Sichuan Chengfei Integration Technology Co Ltd. (CITC) to develop and produce lithium-ion battery modules.
A framework agreement, signed by the companies Nov. 24, covers the set up of a joint enterprise to develop, produce and distribute modules to the global automotive market. The focus is on international e-mobility projects in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
The joint venture brings together complementary operations, with CITC responsible for the electrochemical elements of the battery cell through its offshoot China Aviation Lithium Battery Co. Ltd. (CALB).
ElringKlinger is to contribute the remaining module components, such as cell contact systems and cell housings. In addition, the German partner will oversee the areas of battery design and production.
Apart from mutual access to resources, the partners will gain from each other's expertise and many years of experience gathered by both companies in different disciplines of battery technology, Dettingen-based ElringKlinger said in announcing the deal.
“The joint venture framework agreement provides a classic win-win constellation for the two partners.
“CITC now has at its side a global automotive supplier with expertise in industrialization and sales, while ElringKlinger will, in future, be working with one of the leading cell producers,” commented Stefan Wolf, chief executive of the German firm.
The deal is a significant step forward in his company's “strategic positioning in the area of sustainable mobility,” the executive added.
ElringKlinger has been active in batteries since 2009, and began production of various components and cell contact systems for lithium-ion batteries several years ago.
It already develops and manufactures complete battery modules and systems along with aggregate energy storage units.
ElringKlinger last year launched a new plant for its Chinese subsidiary ElringKlinger China Ltd. in Suzhou. Alongside cockpit cross-car beams based on hybrid technology with lightweight parts made of plastics and metal, the site mass produces thermal shielding parts and lightweight plastic modules.
CITC is a subsidiary of the state-run enterprise Aviation Industry Corporation of China. CITC's offshoot CALB produces batteries and power supply systems for a variety of applications including lithium-ion batteries and energy storage systems.
ElringKlinger is about to open a new plant at Kecskemét, Hungary, for the production of thermal shielding for automotive components.
The 21 million euro ($24.8 million) 10,000-squaremeter injection molding unit is expected to open by the end of this year. This project is part of a regional debottlenecking program by the firm as it switches shielding capacity from Switzerland.
ElringKlinger expects to create around 700 new jobs in Kecskemét during the next few years, according to its chief financial officer Thomas Jessulat.