Kion Group, which owns the Linde and Still fork lift truck brands, is to manufacture lithium-ion batteries in a joint venture with BMZ Holding.
It said the aim is to broaden the lithium-ion product offering and to increase production capacity to meet the rapidly growing demand for lithium-ion battery systems in the intralogistics market.
The production facility for the joint venture, name Kion Battery Systems, will be built by BMZ in Karlstein am Main, the headquarters of the BMZ Group. By 2023, the workforce of the JV is expected to grow to around 80 employees working in mainly research, development and production functions.
Initially, the new joint will focus on the production of 48-volt and 80-volt batteries for counterbalance trucks. Soon, the offering will be expanded to 24-volt batteries for smaller warehouse trucks.
“This alliance will boost our role in the lithium-ion battery segment and will put the Kion Group – and, by extension, all of the Kion brand companies – in an even stronger competitive position,” said Kion chief executive Gordon Riske.
Kion said that last year, electric trucks accounted for about 80 per cent of unit sales – and the share continues to increase.