The electric bicycle market is growing at a pace that was unachievable only a few years ago, and a major technological breakthrough in electricity-powered solutions has created a trend where traditional socket-charged electro tools are being gradually replaced. Johnson Matthey Battery Systems, leading the market of lithium-ion power systems, rests its development agenda on the latest market trends. That is why in October 2016, the Company launches a new production plant in Gliwice employing approx. 750 personnel. Together with the relocation, the Company plans to expand its Polish R&D Department.
Johnson Matthey Battery Systems, member of the Johnson Matthey Group, delivers original power solutions for electric scooters and bicycles, power tools, medical instruments, and electric and hybrid vehicles. “We are growing organically along with the surging demand for products that we provide batteries for. The e-bike market is growing at a pace that was unachievable only a few years ago, and a major technological breakthrough in electricity-powered solutions has created a trend where traditional socket-charged electro tools are being gradually replaced. In the near future, we hope to go beyond the manufacture of the current battery types and plan to design and develop batteries of capacities higher than ever before. We also intend to increase the share of R&D in our Gliwice operation. For this, we need better infrastructure and services,” Maciej Nawrocki, Senior Site Manager at Johnson Matthey Battery System, explains the relocation decision.
The Company is about to leave it current location in Portowa Street in the Silesian Logistics Centre and move its operations to a new building in Einsteina Street in the Gliwice Subzone of the Katowice Special Economic Zone, named “the best free economic zone in Europe in 2015” by the Business Financial Times magazine. “We have always been and still are satisfied with the volume of available qualified personnel, broad and high-quality supply chain and cooperation with the local authorities and the management of the Katowice SEZ,” Maciej Nawrocki underlines. “Prior to deciding where to relocate, we took into account, besides the spatial advantages, the growth opportunities for the existing and new markets, let alone the future benefits to our existing and prospective customers,” adds James Ferguson, General Manager at Johnson Matthey Battery Systems. The new location should create major development opportunities. In the long term, we expect that the area of 12,500 m2 housing production and storage, laboratories and offices will be expanded by further 7,500 m2.
An important quality of the new location is the prototype and test lab that will serve as a research centre for power tools and electric bicycles and scooters. We will particularly focus on battery management systems and the mechanical structure of our products. R&D is bound to take a key position in the global operations of Johnson Matthey. In 2015, the Johnson Matthey Group expended GBP 188 million on R&D, which accounted for almost 6% of its revenue, and employed around 1,600 people in its R&D functions around the world. The Polish branch of the Company’s R&D will employ 15 people but is planned to grow soon. “Silesia abounds in good quality technical schools and universities, which promises successful cooperation in the area of innovation and manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries. That will surely let us maintain our competitive edge on the market,” adds Maciej Nawrocki.