In a surprising twist, Porsche is reportedly eyeing Germany as the location for its large battery cell factory, contrary to recent rumors suggesting a North American destination. According to local reports, the German automaker is actively considering a site in Brandenburg, a region notable for hosting Tesla's Gigafactory, and in close proximity to a significant partner.
Citing insider sources within politics and the regional business community, local newspaper Lausitzer Rundschau revealed that a “well-known name in the car industry” has shown substantial interest in establishing operations on the Schwarzheide/Schipkau airfield in the Oberspreewald-Lausitz district of Brandenburg. Porsche, along with its battery subsidiary Cellforce, appears to be exploring opportunities within the Northeast German lake district, often referred to as the Lausitz region.
While Porsche did not explicitly confirm the rumors, it refrained from denying them when questioned. The company maintained a low profile, acknowledging that alongside its existing factory under construction near Reutlingen, it is evaluating the possibility of expanding production to over 20 gigawatt-hours at a secondary location. The Porsche press office stated that a decision on this matter is expected to be reached by the end of 2023.
This development aligns with previous information reported in July, when there was speculation that Porsche might favor North America as the location for its large-scale battery cell factory. Cellforce's initial site in the inter-municipal economic area of Reutlingen-Nord/Kirchentellinsfurt is also slated for expansion, likely up to 1.3 gigawatt-hours, with further growth potentially constrained.
Talks regarding the airfield in question have already transpired, although Brandenburg's Ministry of Economics has maintained confidentiality concerning the parties involved. Klaus Prietzel, mayor of Schipkau and chairman of the new joint planning association with Schwarzheide, offered a general perspective, noting that the special landing field and its vicinity have long been evaluated as an attractive industrial site for large-scale commercial ventures, given its favorable location according to state planning.
Notably, a point of interest for Porsche and Cellforce is the proximity of BASF's significant factory in Germany, which includes a cathode material and recycling plant. BASF has served as Cellforce's development partner since 2021. However, BASF is reportedly constructing a cathode material factory in Becancour, Canada, potentially enabling it to supply Cellforce in North America as well.