Porsche announces JV with Customcells to develop high-performance batteries for its electric race cars


Porsche has announced that it is establishing a joint venture with German firm Customcells to develop high-performance batteries for certain future EV models. The partnership, which will result in the formation of a company called Cellforce, follows on a report in April that the automaker was planning to set up a battery cell manufacturing facility in the town of Tuebingen in order to speed up its e-mobility plans. Customcells is based in Tuebingen.

The partnership aims to produce EV batteries that will have a higher energy density and much faster charging times than that currently used in its electric cars, Reuters reports. Besides these advantages, the new units are also expected to cut battery production costs, which will help reduce the costs of EVs.

Porsche said it was investing a significant double-digit million euro amount into the venture, in which it will hold 80% of the stake. Production won’t be high – the Cellforce production facility aims to have a capacity of 100 kW hours, which will translate into about enough batteries to supply units for 1,000 EVs. These will be used for motorsport applications as well as selected high-performance road-going versions of its existing cars.

According to Autocar, the company’s development chief Michael Steiner has stated that mainstream production Porsche models are not yet in line to use the high-performance batteries. He also clarified that the new facility is separate from Volkswagen’s plans to build six new European battery plants.

Porsche presently sources the Taycan’s battery pack from German supplier Dräxlmaier, located near Stuttgart. Dräxlmaier’s customer base also includes Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, MINI as well as VW.

“The first task is to get a significant advantage in volumetric energy density, as well as high-temperature sustainability. If we see a potential to come down with cost of cells, there might be a chance for higher volume,” he told the publication.

He added that other performance brands in the VW Group, namely Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini, could be able to benefit from the new battery tech at some point in the future. “Our plan is for Porsche to be the first customer, but definitely, if this technology is attractive as a high-performance solution, it will be also open for other brands in the Volkswagen Group,” he explained.

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