Here’s Why Mercedes-Benz Will Bring EV Battery Research In-House

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Here’s What Mercedes Wants from EV BatteriesMercedes-Benz AG Communications & Marketing
  • Mercedes-Benz launches new competence center for battery development, targeting breakthroughs in chemical compositions and production processes. The automaker wants to lower battery costs by over 30% in the next few years.

  • The eCampus in Germany features laboratories for testing new battery compositions and experimenting with mass production of new battery types, with Mercedes-Benz seeking to enable quicker industrialization of prototypes.

  • The opening of the new center, following two years of construction, brings battery research in-house as automakers try to attain greater control of the battery value chain.

In-house battery development is seen as one of the keys to the EV era, with automakers working to attain control of as much of the battery value chain as possible, starting with research and raw materials, and ending in recycling.


This month Mercedes-Benz has inaugurated a new competence center for battery development following two years of construction, aiming for breakthroughs in chemical compositions and production processes and bringing both of these tasks inside the company.

Dubbed the eCampus and located at the automaker's headquarters in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim, the new center seeks to increase battery energy density, speed up EV charging, and enable quicker industrialization of prototypes.

"The only way to scale up production effectively is through comprehensive knowledge of cell chemistry and design," the automaker noted. "The knowledge gained flows into series production of battery cells at partner companies—for use in future generations of Mercedes-Benz batteries."

One of the more concrete shorter-term goals is to lower battery costs by over 30% in the next few years—a goal Mercedes hopes to achieve by bringing the development and prototyping cycles in-house, thereby avoiding excessive reliance on outside companies.

Another concrete goal is to increase energy density up to 900 watt-hours per liter through the use of solid electrolytes and high-silicon anodes, which would allow for longer EV ranges as well as safer batteries. The energy density in most EV batteries today is generally below 700 watt-hours per liter.

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Developing and testing new battery compositions will be one of the functions of the new eCampus labs.Mercedes-Benz AG – Communications & Marketing

One of the laboratories at the eCampus is dubbed the Industrial Cell Lab and will focus on building and testing battery cells with different compositions on an industrial scale. This will allow the automaker to experiment with economical production of cells, instead of just testing different chemical compositions on a small scale.

As we've seen in the past few years, mass production of new battery designs is usually where startups with promising compositions in the laboratory tend to run into barriers.

The Chemistry Lab, meanwhile, will test novel cell compositions and designs.

"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," said Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG.

In the past and through the present day, Mercedes has also backed a variety of startups working on battery composition, including solid-state designs. But it's clear by now that the leap from testing in prototypes to the mass production of battery packs may require more time than was predicted by the end of the last decade.

Are the prices of electric vehicles still one of the main barriers to widespread EV adoption, or are other factors such as charging infrastructure more important in the short term? Let us know what you think in the comments below.