South of Leipzig, special solar technology for vehicles such as trucks, motorhomes and buses is to be produced on more than 12,000 square meters from the end of this year. Opes Solar Mobility plans to create around 120 jobs in the small town of Zwenkau over the next two years, the German company announced on Monday at the handover of the building.
The solar modules developed in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics (CSP) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) are primarily intended to reduce the energy consumption of vehicles. The modules thus ensure lower costs and longer ranges. Every year, several hundred thousand vehicles are to be equipped with the mobile modules from the plant.
"Solar modules for vehicles are particularly light and robust special developments that we are constantly researching and developing to optimize," said Managing Director Robert Händel. He justified the choice of location with its proximity to the Fraunhofer CSP in Halle and the University of Leipzig. The good transport links and proximity to the company's European customers were also decisive factors. "Vehicle manufacturers today also select their suppliers based on the security of the supply chain," said Händel. Production outside the EU would entail significantly more risks.
In the beginning, the company was looking for engineers, logistics and software experts, production managers and purchasers, among others. Later, skilled workers with various qualifications will also be recruited.
"Opes Solar Mobility" is a joint venture between the solar module specialist "Opes Solutions" and a strategic investor from Germany. "According to Opes Solutions, it has already produced more than 10 million compact solar modules at its first plant in China since 2015. Unlike in Zwenkau, mainly customer-specific products are manufactured in China.
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