BMZ joins forces with KION to form a joint venture under the name of KION Battery Systems, to manufacture lithium-ion batteries for industrial trucks in the EMEA region. Each company will hold a 50% stake in the joint venture, with the objective to broaden the lithium-ion product offering and increase production capacity to best serve the rapidly growing demand for lithium-ion battery systems in the intralogistics market.
The production facility for the joint venture is built by BMZ in Karlstein am Main, the headquarters of the BMZ Group. By 2023, the workforce of the JV is expected to grow to around 80 employees, working mainly in research, development and production functions.
Both BMZ and KION have world-leading know-how in the field of lithium-ion technology. Initially, the new JV will focus on the production of 48V and 80V batteries for counterbalance trucks. Soon, the offering will be expanded to 24V batteries for smaller warehouse trucks.
Last year, electric trucks accounted for about 80% of unit sales – and the share continues to increase. Lithium-ion batteries offer a particular advantage for use in electric vehicles: For example, in contrast to traditional lead-acid batteries, there is no need to swap batteries, because lithium-ion technology supports rapid charging and opportunity charging.
There have also been huge advances in the technological development of lithium-ion batteries. They are already a very attractive and cost-effective option in all areas where industrial trucks are used, especially where facilities operate an intensive shift schedule. The batteries are suitable even for heavy-duty trucks that carry substantial loads.