Daimler is set to prove itself a very serious rival to manufacturers of Silicon Valley electric vehicles. Near the town of Kamenz in the district of Bautzen in Saxony, about 50 kilometers from Dresden, the second factory for lithium-ion batteries is built with an investment of around 500 million euros. This will make Daimler compete directly against Tesla's upcoming Gigafactory.

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The second factory for lithium-ion batteries, opened by Daimler's wholly-owned subsidiary ACCUMOTIVE, will be producing batteries for electric transporters, such as Vito and Sprinter as well as the 7.5-tonne Fuso eCanter truck, which comes with a range of up to 100 kilometers on a full charge and will be delivered in small series from this year onwards. Mercedes-Benz Trucks is also starting the customer testing of the world's first full-electric heavy-duty truck – the Urban eTruck, while next year we can also expect a full-electric Mercedes-Benz city bus to begin series production next year.

The new production facility that covers an area of around 20 hectares will go into operation in 2018 and is expected to hire 1,000 employees by the end of the decade, more than doubling today's numbers. So it's no wonder that this project rasies a lot of interest in individual federal states and the country's government alike, as proven by prominent guests of honour at the ceremony, such as Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel and Minister President of Saxony, Stanislaw Tillich.

May 24, 2017 Driving photo: Daimler

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