Research and development

Total spending on research and development (R&D), including capitalized development costs, went up by 17.3 percent year on year to reach €150.0 million (H1 2021: €127.9 million). Expenditure was concentrated on developments in the new energy, automation, and digitalization fields. R&D spending equated to 2.7 percent of revenue (H1 2021: 2.6 percent). R&D costs totaling €96.4 million were expensed in the income statement (H1 2021: €86.3 million). There were also amortization charges on capitalized development costs of €52.8 million (H1 2021: €48.8 million), which are reported under cost of sales.

Research and development (R&D)

in € million

Q1 – Q2

Q1 – Q2


Research and development costs (P&L)




Capitalized development costs




Total R&D spending




R&D spending as percentage of revenue



Focus of R&D in the first six months of 2022

The cross-brand and cross-region R&D activities secure the KION Group’s market position as one of the world’s leading providers of integrated, automated supply chain and mobile automation solutions. Reflecting customer requirements, R&D activities remained focused on new energy, automation, and digitalization in the first half of 2022. Further objectives are to reduce the complexity and diversity of the product range and to shorten development times for new products.


In the new energy field, the KION Group is forging ahead with the development and refinement of energy-efficient drive solutions, from internal combustion engines to various electric drive systems and fuel cells. Experts in the KION Group are working on solutions for the entire lithium-ion battery lifecycle, including charging management, reconditioning, and recycling. KION Battery Systems (KBS) launched a second production line for 24-volt lithium-ion batteries in April that will be used to power mobile warehouse trucks. Through a minority stake in software specialist ifesca GmbH, the KION Group also continued to develop AI-based energy management solutions.

At the same time, the KION Group’s brand companies broadened the use of lithium-ion batteries to include additional load ranges and applications. Linde, for example, launched new extra heavy-duty trucks in the 10–18 tonne load range and began marketing the T14–T20 series of pallet trucks in the 1.4–2.0 tonne load range with a fully integrated lithium-ion battery. Electric tow tractors that can tow up to 35 tonnes and electric platform trucks that can move up to 3 tonnes of payload are now also available. In May, STILL unveiled the new and compact RXE 10-16C electric forklift truck, which can move loads of up to 1.6 tonnes. For the volume segment, Baoli brought out the EP 15-03 hand pallet truck with a lithium-ion battery drive.


Dematic entered into a partnership with Google Cloud in June with the aim of accelerating cloud innovations and using these to develop the next generation of warehouse management solutions. Migrating Dematic’s offerings to the cloud and using both AI and machine learning should make it possible to build highly efficient, resilient supply chains for customers. The jointly developed solutions are intended to be used in e-commerce fulfillment, omnichannel fulfillment, control tower applications, and other applications for key vertical markets, such as general merchandise, apparel, groceries, and beverages.

Development of the VDA 5050 digital interface continued in the first half of 2022. It enables automated guided vehicle systems and control software supplied by different manufacturers to communicate with each other. The KION Group and its STILL brand company are contributing to this joint project of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) and the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA).


In the first six months of this year, Linde and STILL expanded their automation portfolio to include the autonomous mobile robot Linde C-MATIC for horizontal goods movement in warehouses and factories. The transport robots are highly maneuverable and rapid, even in tight spaces. Dematic widened its service portfolio to include visual inspections of intralogistics facilities carried out with the help of drone technology. This has the potential to reduce the time and work involved in performing mandatory checks on automated warehouse systems.


Innovation activities are focused on the development of cross-segment technologies for tomorrow’s material handling market. The European research project IMOCO (Intelligent Motion Control), which started in February 2022, is aimed at enabling intelligent trucks to navigate autonomously in fast-moving intralogistics environments. IMOCO addresses four scenarios in which AI can be used, namely navigation, the collection and movement of goods, and delivery to their final position. The German project consortium is led by the KION Group and STILL. The IMOCO project will see a demonstrator set up at the STILL site in Hamburg that will bring together all the work of the national partners. STILL will also be coordinating the integration of the components.