FUCHS strengthens e-mobility business and enters the battery market
The Group launched its FUCHS2025 strategy program back in 2019. Over the next few years, this program will help the company take advantage of the opportunities presented by the megatrends of digitalization, sustainability, and e-mobility. The new investment will also feed into this, as it grants FUCHS access to the fast-growing market for electrolytes. This market is set to become increasingly important, particularly in and out of Europe, since electrolytes represent a key component of the lithium-ion batteries used in countless appli-cations, including e-mobility. FUCHS is investing around EUR 8 million in this new area of activity. The share purchase agreement also opens up the possibility of acquiring further shares on a step-by-step basis over time.
"Although this market is uncharted territory for us, at FUCHS we are experts in developing custom-made solutions for special customer requirements and a very wide range of func-tional fluid applications worldwide," adds the CEO. One thing the two new partners have in common is the fact that they are not looking to serve the mass market, but rather focus on promising high-performance applications. The investment represents an important step and extends FUCHS' expertise in the field of e-mobility. The Group already extended its portfolio in 2020 with FUCHS BluEV, a dedicated product line for the latest e-mobility applications.
The E-Lyte product technology also focuses on meeting specific requirements and is based on special performance characteristics, such as faster battery charging times. These are not only of vital importance for electric cars, but also hold potential for many other promising areas, such as drones, medical engineering, high and low temperature applications, or the aerospace sector.
"There is no longer one universal electrolyte for batteries and the differences between those available are becoming more and more pronounced. The rapidly developing battery tech-nologies for a broad range of applications are causing skyrocketing demand for customized electrolyte formulas and ever larger production volumes. In order to cater for this, we need a local supply chain, not only because the electrolyte doesn't permit long delivery and storage times because of its limited shelf life," says Dr. Ralf Wagner, Managing Partner of E-Lyte Innovations GmbH.
In the next step, the required production infrastructure will be established jointly at the FUCHS location in Kaiserslautern, Germany to facilitate industrialization, scaling, and further growth. Funds are in particular being invested in the production facilities and laboratory equipment. Production is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2023.
German enterprise Customcells Holding GmbH, a leading international company in the development of special, high-performance lithium-ion battery cells, is the third partner in the joint venture.