Chinese battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited, or CATL, has announced a massive investment to build a new cell manufacturing plant in Europe. CATL announced on Friday that it would invest €7.34 billion to build a 100 GWh battery plant in Hungary.
The Debrecen, Hungary battery plant would join CATL’s Munich, Germany facility as the second for the company in Europe.
The plant is expected to cover 221 hectares (546.103 acres) in the Southern Industrial Park of Debrecen and will supply both cells and modules to automakers throughout Europe. For comparison, Tesla’s Gigafactory Berlin facility sits on 300 hectares of land.
“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,” Founder and Chairman of CATL Dr. Robin Zeng said. “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.”
The Hungary plant will utilize electricity from renewable energies, as it aligns with CATL’s goals to build a “sustainable and circular battery value chain.”
The size of CATL’s new Hungarian production facility will add 100 GWh to the company’s already world-class manufacturing capacity. CATL is the world’s largest battery manufacturer already, and another 100 GWh would only increase its plans for nearly 1,000 GWh of annual production across its production facilities.
CATL recently announced plans for a potential $5 billion battery cell production plant in North America. However, Nancy Pelosi’s recent trip to Taiwan, which was not supported by China’s government, derailed these plans potentially as CATL stated it had put the potential site’s development on hold.
Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz, also commented on CATL’s decision to build a plant in Hungary:
“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. 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’re proud to see our Ambition 2039 supported by CATL’s commitment to CO2 neutral production in Hungary.”
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