Several German companies are applying for public funding to build a battery cell manufacturing facility for electric cars. The Aachen startup e.GO Mobile is now surprisingly rising from a planned project – at least for the time being.
In February it became known that e.GO Mobile, together with the electric vans manufacturer StreetScooter, the battery maker BMZ and the battery startup TerraE, wants to bring the first German cell factory to North Rhine-Westphalia. But StreetScooter founder and e.GO Mobile CEO Günther Schuh has changed his mind shortly before the submission deadline for grant applications.
"We had hoped that the announcements by different partners would be followed by action. But unfortunately so far it has remained with non-binding commitments, "said Schuh in conversation with the Handelsblatt, e.GO Mobile is "a small company that could not take on the risks of other partners".
"Mr. Altmaier can rightly expect the companies in our consortium to commit first before there is a commitment to government funding," Schuh continued. He pointed out that for individual companies, the focus is not so much on the strategic orientation, but above all on the promised billions.
According to Schuh, the potential risks of a German cell factory must be borne by the private sector and not by the state. StreetScooter and e.GO Mobile had been willing to raise hundreds of millions. Shoe has not yet written off an investment: He "would continue to support the project if strong partners are still found".
BMZ informed the Handelsblatt with the joint venture TerraE and StreetScooter taken over in 2018 to stick to the plan and make a funding application. According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, six consortia have so far applied for funding. Applicants will include BASF, VW, PSA and BMW. Further applications are possible until this Friday.