Daimler is acquiring a stake of around 3 percent in Chinese battery cell maker Farasis Energy as part of efforts to ensure a secure supply for its subsidiary Mercedes-Benz' ambitious electrification strategy, the German group said on Friday.
The carmaker did not give an exact investment figure for the equity, but said it is investing "multi-million" euros in Farasis' initial public offering on China's Nasdaq-like STAR board.
By taking a stake in a Chinese battery cell maker, the company will further leverage the potential of advanced technology partners to pursue its global electrification strategy, Hubertus Troska, a board member of Daimler AG and responsible for its China business, said.
Mercedes-Benz expects over 50 percent of its passenger car sales to be electric cars or plug-in hybrids by 2030.
"China is the world’s largest electric car market with tremendous potential for further development. We are already working with strong and trusted partners in China, not only to enhance our local footprint but also to strengthen our competitiveness worldwide," Troksa said.
Daimler said the two companies will also work on developing and producing highly advanced battery cells to extend ranges while cutting charging time for the carmaker's ambitious electrification goal.
According to the deal, Farasis can join projects for Mercedes-Benz' next-generation electric vehicles at an early stage. In order to be able to meet increasing demand from Mercedes-Benz' German plants in the future, Farasis is building a plant for battery cells in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany.
In this year alone, Mercedes-Benz expects to offer five electric models and 20 plug-in hybrids in the market globally. Late last year, it launched the China-made EQC SUV, which sports batteries from China's CATL.
Mercedes-Benz said a balanced supplier set is the basis for access to the best possible technology and a prerequisite for competitiveness, but Farasis is a "fixed cornerstone" in the existing set of its battery cell suppliers.
"In the future, we will continue to strengthen our activities in research and development, production and purchasing in China," Troska said.
Mercedes-Benz started working with Farasis in 2019. Their first project was producing battery cells using electricity from renewable energies such as hydropower, wind and solar energy.