Valmet Automotive, Uusikaupunki, Finland, is expecting its sales from the Electric Vehicles (EV) batteries business to reach the level or even surpass that of vehicle contract manufacturing within the next few years. The growth will focus on the EV Systems business line with its battery system engineering and manufacturing services, but the company strategy emphasizes the importance of e-mobility in all business lines.
For Valmet Automotive, battery systems are the essential growth business, and the company has set a target of becoming a key player both as a contract battery manufacturer and as a Tier 1 system supplier, like Valmet Automotive is a key Tier 1 system supplier for roofs and kinematic systems. The target is based on the continuous growth in demand for batteries and company’s expertise in engineering and manufacturing of 48 V and high-voltage batteries for Plug-in and for All-electric vehicles.
The EV Systems business line, founded in 2018 and led by Senior Vice President Jyrki Nurmi, has been constantly expanding and employs today about 300 people in Finland and 50 people in Germany. The business line is responsible for Valmet Automotive’s entire battery system value chain, including engineering, manufacturing, testing services and customer relations.
Valmet Automotive has responded fast to the growing demand for batteries. Series production of the first battery system developed by Valmet Automotive began in 2018 at the Uusikaupunki battery plant, and the high-volume Salo battery plant, currently ramping up production to new record levels, was started in 2019. In February 2020, a battery test center was opened in Bad Friedrichshall, Germany.
The EV Systems business line also includes engineering of batteries. The engineering team has locations in Finland and Germany. The entire former battery R&D team in Finland is now part of the EV Systems team. In addition, the German battery engineering and testing team has now joined EV Systems.
– Since 2018 Valmet Automotive has taken vital steps in establishing the company as a key player in electric mobility. This is perceived very positively by our customers and the automotive industry. We now aim at winning a contract as a Tier 1 battery system supplier, and we are currently in promising negotiations for several projects with leading European car manufacturers, says Olaf Bongwald, CEO, Valmet Automotive.
The Valmet Automotive Group is one of the largest vehicle contract manufacturers in the world, Tier 1 systems supplier to roof systems and a key development partner to the global automotive industry. In its strategic development, Valmet Automotive Group focuses on electromobility with developing and supplying modules as well as battery systems. The activities in the group are divided into the four business lines: Manufacturing, Engineering, EV Systems and Roof & Kinematic Systems. Since its founding in 1968, Valmet Automotive has produced more than 1.5 million vehicles at the Uusikaupunki, Finland plant. In Salo, near the Uusikaupunki plant, Valmet Automotive opened its first volume production of batteries for the automotive industry in autumn 2019. The company has locations in Finland, Germany, Poland and Spain. The largest shareholders in the Valmet Automotive Group are state-owned Finnish investment company Tesi and the Pontos Group, each with a stake of 38.46 percent. 23.08 percent is held by the Chinese Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited (CATL), the world’s leading manufacturer of batteries and battery cells for electric vehicles.