Kion from Frankfurt am Main is planning a joint venture with battery manufacturer BMZ Group from Karlstein/Bavaria to set up a production facility for lithium ion batteries. This was confirmed to the Handelsblatt newspaper by a company spokesperson for the BMZ Group . The new firm, in which both companies have a 50% stake, will operate under the name of Kion Battery Systems. Production will take place on the BMZ site in Karlstein near Aschaffenburg. The first batteries should be coming off the production line as soon as the second quarter of 2020. The cells for the batteries will come from Asia. Lead-acid batteries still predominate in the intralogistics sector, but lithium ion batteries offer significantly better charging times, energy efficiency and service life. This explains the growing demand for forklifts equipped with this technology.
43% of Kion is owned by the Chinese company Weichai . In the field of forklift vehicles, Kion is the market leader in Europe and in second place behind Toyota worldwide. In 2018 the company recorded a turnover of almost EUR 8 billion, with a profit of EUR 401.6 million.