Chinese battery giant CATL is to build its second battery gigafactory in Hungary in a €7.34bn project.
The factory will have a capacity of 100GWh and make both battery cells and modules for European car makers including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Stellantis and Volkswagen.
The 221 hectares site at Debrecen, east Hungary, is CATL’s second battery plant in Europe following its German plant at Thuringia. Subject to the shareholder meeting approval, construction of the first production facilities will start within this year.
Samsung SDI converted its plasma TV factory in Hungary to make battery packs back in 2017, and Korean battery maker SK is also planning a plant in the country.
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CATL will use electricity from renewable energies, and is considering developing solar power with local partners in the country. To build a sustainable and circular battery value chain, CATL is also examining the possibility of joining forces with local partners to establish facilities for battery materials in Europe.
“There is no doubt that our plant in Debrecen will enable us to further sharpen our competitive edge, better respond to our European customers, and accelerate the transition to e-mobility in Europe,” said Dr. Robin Zeng, founder and Chairman of CATL. “The greenfield project in Hungary will be a giant leap in CATL’s global expansion, and also an important step in our efforts to make an outstanding contribution to the green energy drive for humankind.”
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“This new state-of-the art European CATL plant in Hungary is another milestone for the scale-up of our EV production together with our key partners,” said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, CTO responsible for development and procurement. “With CATL we have a technology-leader as our partner to provide us – as the first and biggest customer of the new plant’s initial capacity – with top-notch CO2 neutral battery cells for our next generation EVs in Europe, hence following our local-to-local approach in procurement.
“We are taking another step to scale up development and production of next-generation high-performance battery cells and modules on our path to an all-electric future,” he said. “The new CATL plant in Debrecen, Hungary, will provide us with battery cells for our EV production at our European production sites in Germany and Hungary. An important step towards our goal to achieve a production capacity of more than 200 Gigawatt hours by the end of the decade.
“The new plant will provide battery cells for the next generation Mercedes-Benz models. With this step. For the first time, the CO₂-neutral battery cell production for our latest Mercedes-Benz models was audited and certified by third-party companies DEKRA and SGS.”
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