Varta expands its research capacities with new facility
Varta AG is expanding its R&D capacities of next-generation batteries. With the expansion of Varta Innovation, one of the most modern research facilities for battery technology in Europe is being created at the Graz site in Austria.
In future, the latest technologies for a wide range of applications, from the IoT to the automotive sector, will be developed on an area of around 3,500 square metres. The work is nearing completion and full operation is scheduled for the beginning of the second quarter of 2024.
By the end of the year, the number of international researchers, currently around 30, is expected to grow to 50, the company states in a press release. The work will centre around optimising existing battery technologies to make them more efficient and developing post-lithium technologies. Sustainability, more specifically the reduction of energy consumption in production and the use of recycled materials is a particular focus of the development work.
"The expansion of our materials and basic research in Graz is a logical consequence. We want to consolidate our position as one of the technology and innovation leaders in the field of battery technology. There are particularly promising developments in post-lithium technologies, for example in the increasingly important field of decentralised energy storage, which is based on inexpensive, sustainable and unproblematic materials such as sodium. But there is also still a great deal of potential in lithium-ion technology, which we can realise through targeted research and development," says Rainer Hald, CTO of Varta AG in the press release.
The new building houses one of the largest test laboratories for batteries in Europe. The expansion will be financed by a total investment of EUR 33 million, of which around EUR 10 million will be provided by funding from an IPCEI project (Important Project of Common European Interest) by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Protection (BMK).
An opening ceremony for the new Varta Innovation site in Graz is currently planned for the end of the second quarter of 2024.