Long recognized as the manufacturing powerhouse of Europe, Germany is expected to surpass Japan to become the third-largest economy in the world this year. One of the premier automotive hubs in the world with a long-standing record of technical and engineering excellence, Germany has begun pursuing localized sourcing and production opportunities to de-risk its reliance on imports, revitalize its economy, and meet broader decarbonization goals. A prime location for Group14 to establish its foothold in Europe, Germany is home to many global brands including partners and investors such as Porsche AG and BASF.
With its technology already commercialized in consumer electronics and expected to be in EV batteries next year, Group14 is the leading manufacturer of silicon battery materials in the world today. As EV demand continues to surge, Group14 has successfully scaled the production of its technology and is now moving forward with its unique strategic modular approach to manufacturing, simultaneously constructing factories in North America and in Asia, the latter as part of a joint venture with SK.
Encouraged by the German government’s staunch intent to invest in renewables, Group14 opted to set up its European base of operations in Germany, starting with the acquisition of Schmid Silicon, which included a silane factory in Spreetal. With its latest acquisition, Group14 is looking to boost optionality by securing access to silane gas, boost access by bringing localized EV battery production to the region, and boost economic development efforts by creating new manufacturing jobs.
As part of Phase I of its European expansion plans, Group14 will leverage its advanced technology and manufacturing expertise to restart the idled silane factory in Spreetal, Germany. With 15 employees in Germany today, Group14 expects to hire more than 65 employees by the end of 2024 for its silane factory, including engineers, operators, technicians, and administrative staff across all levels, as the company works to bring the factory back to its full production capacity. Since the factory’s acquisition, Group14 already has begun its hiring process to bring on engineering hires with chemical, mechanical, and electrical backgrounds.
“We see a clear alignment between our vision to strengthen localized battery supply chains and Germany’s commitment to building a robust clean energy economy,” said Group14 CEO Rick Luebbe. “Our investment in Germany not only brings us closer to our partners and customers, but it brings us closer to a global clean energy economy built on next-generation manufacturing to create new economic opportunities for local communities.”
Within the next six months, Group14 plans to set up its first European office in close proximity to one of the world’s most celebrated automakers – Group14 investor and customer Porsche AG – while it explores opportunities to build its third Battery Active Materials factory (BAM-3) in the country to provide locally manufactured silicon battery materials to European automotive OEMs and, ultimately, create new manufacturing and operations jobs.