The plant about 50 kilometres from Dresden is part of a €1bn investment spree by the German carmaker into the global production of battery systems, and will be one of Europe’s biggest and most modern battery factories, Daimler says. It is slated to be operational in mid-2018.

A rapid expansion of global battery output is seen as a catalyst for the price decline in solar energy storage systems that use the same lithium-ion technology.

Germany currently is also in an incipient discussion about phasing out non-electronic cars altogether, possibly by 2030, which would give an enormous boost to the need for renewable energy capacity.